Falkirk Council Agenda - 11 December 2013, 09:30 Help

A meeting to be held at Council Chambers, Municipal Buildings, Falkirk at 09:30 on 11 December 2013.

Number Item

Members should declare any financial and non-financial interests they have in any item of business at the meeting, identifying the relevant agenda item and the nature of the interest.
(a)Minute of Meeting of Falkirk Council held on 25 September 2013.  View Papers
(b)Minute of Special Meeting of Falkirk Council held on 30 September 2013.  View Papers
(c)Minute of Special Meeting of Falkirk Council held on 7 October 2013.  View Papers
(d)Minute of Special Meeting of Falkirk Council held on 24 October 2013.  View Papers
(e)Volume of Minutes - Volume 3 2013/14 and  View Papers
(f)Information Bulletin - Volume 3 2013/2014  View Papers

Questions submitted in accordance with Standing Orders.  View Papers

Report by the Chief Finance Officer.
 View Papers

Report by the Chief Executive.
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Report by the Chief Executive.
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Report by the Director of Development Services.
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Report by the Chief Executive.
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Report by the Chief Governance Officer.
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Report by the Chief Governance Officer.
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Notices of motion submitted in accordance with Standing Order 29 are set out below. Motions that refer to matters within the remit of the Executive, or Education Executive, will stand referred to the appropriate body, without discussion, unless:-

(1) special circumstances exist which, in opinion of the Provost (having consulted with the Council Leader and the Leader of the Opposition) requires an exception to be made;

(2) two thirds of the members present vote in favour of the matter being discussed; or

(3) the motion raises an issue with significant impact on the Council area which the Provost, having consulted with the Leader of the Council and the Leader of the Opposition, considers suitable for debate at Council.

The following motion is reserved for Council:
1Council Structures

In light of the recent Audit Scotland annual 2012/13 report on Falkirk Council, where as state that, " continuation of the current situation could undermine local governance and scrutiny arrangements and cause reputational damage to the council", it is imperative that Council take immediate remedial steps. The current system fails to meet this criteria on a number of counts, as averred to in Audit Scotland's critical annual report.


It is the wish of Council that a structures system be introduced which is inclusive; transparent; accountable; and respected by Audit Scotland; SOLACE and any other professional body dealing with the council. The system must be based on a democratic structure with the capacity to provide scrutiny of the political Administration.

In the interim, Council will revert back to the previous proven structures of Full Council and Committee structures prior to March 2013, until the new structures system is agreed and adopted by Full Council.

The new agreed decision making structures must be in place for 1st March 2014.

Proposed by Councillor Brian McCabe View Papers
2The following motions stand referred to the Executive unless otherwise determined by the Provost, having consulted with the Leader of the Council and the Leader of the Opposition.

Bonnybridge Social Club

Bonnybridge Social Club like many other clubs eg. social, golf, bowling are all feeling the effects of not only the downturn in the economy, but also the changes in peoples social lives. Clubs are closing all the time and those that are not are struggling from week to week just to keep the doors open. Bonnybridge Social Club is no different and it's only through the sacrifices and hard work and endeavour of a few that it remains open for business. This club is an integral part of the community and is utilised by the whole community in a variety of ways, its closure would have a devastating effect on the community. They require the long term stability of clearing their debt and then starting afresh with the financial burden of debt off their shoulders. They firmly believe that they can continue to be viable. Those who have worked tirelessly deserve this opportunity, as do the community to safeguard the clubs future. So how can this Council support this club and show that they fully understand? The following motion simply spells it out


Bonnybridge Social Club owns the building, the ground the club sits on is owned by the Council, they have been advised that the bank could give them the loan to remove their debt but only if they owned the ground. You therefore see the predicament, so I would move the following.

1. The Council requests a valuation of the ground from the District Valuer.
2. The Council then transfers the ground to the Social Club with the following conditions.

(a) that a payback agreement is entered into between the Club and the Council; and
(b) that should the transfer go through and if they club in future closes without the Council being fully paid then the ground would then go back into the ownership of the Council.

Proposed by Baillie William Buchanan View Papers
3Discretionary Housing Payment

The award of Disability Allowance is a non means tested benefit paid solely by the DWP to assist disabled people deal with circumstances relating to an individual's disability should not be considered as income for any other purpose.

Council notes that the current practice of including DLA in the assessment for Discretionary Housing Payment people with disabilities are less likely to qualify for DHP than other applicants and therefore in breach of the council's own equality policies.

Council further notes that currently only one third of the DHP fund has been allocated at 23rd October 2013.

Council therefore agrees to disregard DLA in assessing for DHP and look to reimburse those who have been disadvantaged thus ensuring the most vulnerable in our society are protected from the draconian clutches of the Westminster Tory Government.

Council further resolves to report on the take up of this fund to the relevant committee twice a year.

Proposed by Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn  View Papers
4Scottish Welfare Fund

Falkirk Council was allocated from the Scottish welfare fund the collective amount which had historically been paid out locally to individual applicants the
previous year. This amounted to 927,822 broken down to 634,342 for "Community Care Grants" and 293,480 allocated to a "Crisis Grants Scheme".

Council notes that the amounts allocated at 15 October of 174,461 in Community Care Grants and 64,138 in Crisis Grants is less than one third of the total fund with only around one third of the year remaining.

It is also noted that the current method of supplying goods from a local supplier without enabling choice may not be meeting the needs of the individual concerned or best value.

Council therefore agrees to amend qualifying criteria to allow maximum flexibility to meet an individual needs.

Council further resolves to report on the take up of this fund to the relevant committee twice a year.

Proposed by Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn  View Papers
5Business Support

With the announcement that Glasgow City Council will be giving over the prestigious City Chambers as a business development centre during the entire period of the Commonwealth Games in 2014, it would be encouraging if Falkirk Council engaged in a similar endeavour to attract inward investment to the area.


That Council recognise the need for proactive enterprise and instruct council officers to identify and cost suitable accommodation to permit the setting up of a "Common Wealth with the Commonwealth" trade fair, during the entire duration of the Commonwealth Games.

Proposed by Councillor Robert Spears View Papers
62014 - 700th Anniversary

In light of the fact that Scotland will become the centre of the world in 2014 with the Commonwealth Games; the Ryder Cup; the Referendum; the 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, it would be hoped that Falkirk Council are well prepared to capitalise on the level of the world interest.


That Council seek a full appraisal of current plans for Tourism development within the region. This report should contain details of issues related to the Kelpies opening; the promotion of the Wallace Trail; reference to the Battle of Falkirk; and the area's Jacobite connections.

Proposed by Councillor Brian McCabe View Papers