Falkirk Council Agenda - 14 May 2014, 09:30 Help

A meeting to be held at Council Chambers, Municipal Buildings, Falkirk at 09:30 on 14 May 2014.

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 12 March 2014; View Papers
(b)Volume of Minutes - Volume 5 2013/2014; and  View Papers
(c)Information Bulletin - Volume 5 2013/2014.  View Papers

Questions submitted in accordance with Standing Orders.

There were no Questions submitted.
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Report by the Chief Finance Officer.
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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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Report by the Chief Governance Officer.
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(a)(a) Denny Eastern Access Road INF14

DEAR funding moved from all Developer funded to "largely" Developer funded, in the Council's own SPG paper on the funding strategy for the DEAR relief road.

In light of the Reporter's Determination of 24 April 2014 where the first phase of developer contribution (550,000 Transport Contribution from McTaggart & Mickel, by way of a Section 75 agreement) was dismissed in favour of McTaggart & Mickel, the Council's preferred strategy is now in tatters.

Effectively the decision has set a precedent where ALL future developers of contributing sites will argue against a 'Transport Contribution' towards the road's construction.

DEAR Funding Alternative Strategy

That Falkirk Council recognise the immediate, desperate need for the relief road (The Council's own SPG states: "The decision to create a project for a relief road has its origin in the 1970's for relieving traffic congestion at Denny Cross. Even then there were considerable delays for traffic negotiating Denny Cross."

Further: "New bypass road required to address capacity problems at Denny Cross which will be further exacerbated by new development.");

That Council settle on funding the road from the Capital budget, or alternatively by prudential borrowing and;

That Council immediately enter into a procurement exercise for the construction of the whole road, including the new Nethermain/Glasgow Road roundabout with any necessary 'spur' to access the Mydub Development site, through to the Denny High School mini-roundabouts, and any upgrades deemed necessary to them, and;

That no proposed contributory housing development planning applications are approved until the DEAR construction method is fully ratified.

Proposed by Councillor B McCabe View Papers
(b)(b) Audit Scotland

There are identified 'difficulties' regarding the application of the Council's current decision making structures which has led to the non-participation of the elected members of the Opposition. Audit Scotland has already indicated concern and a report is expected in the near future.

To acknowledge that this problem exists and that the council are attempting to address it, it would be prudent that the Council take the opportunity to review the supporting administrative systems.

Standing Orders Review

That Falkirk Council form an All Party Working Group tasked with reviewing the existing Standing Orders of Council.

Proposed by Councillor R Spears  View Papers
(c)(c) Employee Conditions

Exploitative contracts solely damage the conditions of low-paid workers. The Council may have legitimate reasons for utilising them but we should limit their use as far as possible. ie: Labour party figures reveal that one in five social workers are on zero hour contracts, or over 300,000 workers across the UK. The use of exploitative zero hour contracts promotes job insecurity, low pay and unstable working conditions. Basic rights for employees should be universal; people deserve decent conditions in return for their work; and it is unfair that workers are tied to contracts with no guarantee of work from one day to the next. We must not allow exploitative contracts to be used purely to cut the cost of low-paid workers.

Zero Hours Contracts

That Falkirk Council identify the current level of use of Zero Hours Contracts and identify where their use can be demonstrated to be beneficial to Council and employee alike.

Where there is any question of this, the Council give a commitment that Zero Hours Contracts will not be entered into.

Proposed by Councillor B McCabe View Papers
(d)(d) Community Charter

Council commends the Community Charter drawn up by local residents to establish the Cultural Heritage of Larbert, Stenhousemuir and Torwood and to declare their rights and responsibilities for its improvement and protection.

Council acknowledges this charter is the first of its kind in the UK and offers a great opportunity for our citizens to shape the community in which they live. The aims of the charter clearly reflect the key themes of the council's corporate plan.

16 out of 32 Falkirk Councillors have already signed the charter representing the majority of the political groups on the council. As signatories to the Community Charter, those councillors support its broad aims, most particularly, the right of local communities to express their views on matters affecting their environment.

All councillors recognise that we will need to take decisions on individual planning applications. All councillors are aware that each application needs to be judged on its own merits and determined in accordance with planning legislation. No councillor need consider themselves bound by any statement in the Charter which may suggest otherwise and, in particular, by the positions expressed in the Charter on coal bed methane extraction or the precautionary principle.

Council therefore agrees to endorse the community charter.

Proposed by Councillor S Carleschi  View Papers
(e)(e) Provision of 3G Pitches

It has been noted that there has been an allocation contained within Falkirk Council's budget for the provision of a 3G pitch since 2007. This has been carried forward year on year as the project has not been progressed. The project was initially to be taken forward by Falkirk Council Leisure and Community Services, this was prior to the creation of Falkirk Community Trust to which the responsibility then passed to, for development and delivery.

Council notes that to date there has been very little progress made on this project and no time table for delivery has been brought forward, this is despite assurances from the Chief Executive that an update report would be forthcoming either towards the end of 2013 or to a meeting of Full Council early in 2014.

Council therefore acknowledges that as a result of this significantly protracted process that there are communities whom have been disadvantaged and now instructs officers to being forward a detailed report to the June 2014 meeting of full Council which demonstrates a method of progressing the project with time line for delivery.

Proposed by Councillor J McNally View Papers