Thursday, January 09, 2020

Notes from today's meeting of Cumbria County Council

1) Near the start of the meeting there was a very good presentation by the Chief Constable of Cumbria constabulary.

Her talk was well received and prompted half an hour of questions

2) This was followed by a presentation from the council of children in care.

3) Under questions I asked about the status of proposals under consideration by Durham County Council to introduce fluoridisation, which if it goes ahead will affect not just their own area but parts of several neighbouring authorities, including about 2,345 residents of Cumbria in the Alston area.

The Portfolio Holder replied that Durham County Council has asked the government in mid December for permission to hold a consultation on this issue. At the moment they are awaiting a decision from the Secretary of State for Health, which they hope to receive by the end of January.

There is a legal requirement for a thorough consultation with all the areas affected, which must take place over a period of at least 12 months and is likely to be carried out this Summer.

More details will be published in due course if the Secretary of State gives permission for this issue to be considered.  Watch this space.

4) In accordance with the recommendation from the independent panel, the Labour leader put forward a proposal to increase councillors' allowances by 2% from April. 

(This is in line with the pay offer made to staff. The current rate of inflation is 2.2% on the RPI measure or 1.5% on the CPI measure.)

The proposal was carried on the votes of Labour and Lib/Dem councillors. The Conservative group, including myself, abstained.  

5) At the conclusion of the meeting there were four speeches from members of the council, including one from myself on the importance of working for further improvements to the A595.

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