Full Council - 14 December 2022
Full Council agenda and associated papers for the meeting on 14 December 2022.
- Provost Mary Montague
- Councillor Andrew Anderson
- Councillor Caroline Bamforth
- Councillor Tony Buchanan
- Councillor Kate Campbell
- Councillor Angela Convery
- Councillor Betty Cunningham
- Councillor Danny Devlin
- Councillor Paul Edlin
- Councillor Annette Ireland
- Councillor Chris Lunday
- Councillor David Macdonald
- Councillor Jim McLean
- Councillor Colm Merrick
- Councillor Andrew Morrison
- Councillor Owen O'Donnell
- Councillor Katie Pragnell
- Councillor Gordon Wallace
Notice of meeting
1. Report on Apologies for absence.
2. Declarations of Interest.
5. Items Remitted to the Council:
6. Notices of Motion
Council notes the decision of the Supreme Court of 23rd November 2022 stating there is no legal constitutional basis on which the Scottish Government can proceed with their planned re-run referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.
Council welcomes the certainty offered by this decision, noting recent discussions of the Council's Audit & Scrutiny Committee on the importance of 'horizon scanning' of possible risks to be added to the Council's Strategic Risk Register, following a recommendation by Audit Scotland on 7th April 2022.
Further, Council welcomes this opportunity for public funding, civil service and Scottish Government resources to now focus on public service improvement, enhancing the services provided by local councils, and in the true spirit of devolution, protecting the autonomy of local government in Scotland.
The Council welcomes stronger prospects for good faith cross-party working and better collaboration across all tiers of government in Scotland, to the benefit of all of our residents.
Moved by Councillor Morrison, seconded by Councillor Wallace.
East Renfrewshire Council is facing unprecedented cuts in budget funding over the next three financial years amounting to over £30m in the core Council budget with additional cuts facing the East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) of around £20m and East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Trust (ERCLT) of £2m. Council acknowledges that this scale of cuts will undoubtedly result in significant job losses and reduction in services to our residents including Education, Social Care and the Environment.
Council notes that no one in the Council wants to implement this level of cuts but the Council and its Officers have no choice but to produce a legally balanced budget. Council further acknowledges that the Council is efficiently managed and controlled as evidenced by Audit Scotland and the results of the Local Authority Benchmarking review where East Renfrewshire is consistently shown to be a top council performer particularly with respect to Education and the East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership being recognised as one of the best performing Partnerships in Scotland.
In simple terms, this level of cuts is down to a flat cash budget settlement from the Scottish Government when inflation is currently at 11.1% and unlikely to approach close to 2% over the period of this 3 year budget cycle. Council notes that this settlement continues the trend of less than inflationary budget settlements over the last 15 years which makes this year's budget savings targets much harder to deliver.
Council supports and agrees with COSLA's negotiating and budget lobbying position with the Scottish Government as agreed on 25th November and in particular :
- Seeking a meeting of Political Group Leaders with the Deputy First Minister to impress on the Scottish Government the seriousness of the financial situation facing Local Government;
- Seeking a meeting of Political Group Leaders with local government trade union representatives to discuss a joint approach to budget lobbying and the protection of local public services; and
- COSLA officers to work up a detailed case for a budget ask based on the need for £1bn+ additional funding to sustain vital local services.
Council asks for the Chief Executive to write to the Scottish Government, demanding a fairer budget funding settlement for East Renfrewshire that takes account of inflationary pressures, the impact of local government cuts on job losses and local service delivery, and the consequential recessionary impact not just in the local East Renfrewshire economy but across Scotland nationally.
Moved by Councillor O'Donnell, seconded by Councillor Anderson.
There are very real concerns from East Renfrewshire residents around Climate Change in general and the use of single-use-plastics in particular.
This Council resolves to develop a robust strategy to make East Renfrewshire Council a 'single-use-plastic-free' authority and encourage East Renfrewshire Council's institutions, businesses, tenants and citizens to adopt similar measures.
Council will also engage with teachers and pupils in our Primary and Secondary schools on the climate emergency and the actions which can be taken to tackle it, including which measures can be taken to remove the sale of water in plastic bottles from within our schools and replacing this with a more sustainable alternative.
Moved by Councillor Ireland, seconded by Councillor Macdonald.
7. Statements by Conveners/Representatives on Joint Boards/Committees.
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