Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - The Guildhall. View directions

Contact: Katie Coughlan  Governance and Civic Officer

Media

Items
No. Item

22.

Chairman's Welcome

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This being the first ordinary meeting of Full Council for the 2019/20 Civic Year, the Chairman welcomed all Members, Officers and Members of the Public present.

 

Representatives from Willoughton Neighbourhood Planning Group, who would later in the meeting present their successful Plan to Council, were also welcomed to meeting.

 

 

23.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 403 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Full Council held on 20 May 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)     Minutes of Annual Meeting held on 20 May 2019

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Annual Meeting held on 20 May 2019 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

 

24.

Members' Declarations of Interest

Members may make any declarations of interest at this point and may also make them at any point during the meeting.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors Jessie Milne, Paul Howitt-Cowan, Judy Rainsforth, Mandy Snee and Angela Lawrence all declared a pecuniary interest in the motion as they were elected trustees of Almshouses.  They further indicated that they would withdraw from the Chamber prior to consideration of the item.

25.

Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 14 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer presented the report and advised Members that all actions had been completed within their targets. 

 

RESOLVED that the Matters Arising be duly noted.

 

 

26.

Announcements

i)             Chairman of Council

ii)            Leader of the Council

iii)           Head of Paid Service

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Chairman

 

The Chairman addressed Council and informed members of a slight change to voting procedure, indicating he would only be inviting members for a vote “in favour” or “against”. He would not be asking for abstentions unless a recorded vote was requested. Any member who did not identify their wishes would be assumed to have abstained.

 

Referring to recent engagements, on 29th May the Chairman and his wife attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace. As most Members were aware, the Chairman’s Lady, whilst there had met with an unfortunate accident and was treated, first by medical staff on duty at the Palace, before being taken to hospital. The Chairman was pleased to advise his wife was recovering.

 

On 8th June the Chairman had had the privilege of being present at the unveiling of a Victoria Cross Memorial Stone to honour Private Samuel Needham in Great Limber. It was a well-attended and moving service.

 

On 14th June the Chairman had attended the ABF Soldiers Charity reception at Hemswell Court, where there had been an entertaining after dinner speech!

 

It had been an honour to be present on both days of the Lincolnshire Show, and the Chairman had had the pleasure of meeting many interesting and diverse people.

 

On 24th June the Chairman had he opportunity to raise the flag here at the Guildhall to honour our armed forces, he thanked all those who had attended.

 

Later that day the Chairman had presented at the awards ceremony at Riseholme College. It had been uplifting to see so many young men and women receive their diplomas, before they embarked on careers mostly connected to agriculture. It had also been gratifying to have senior members of staff pay some very complimentary remarks about this council.

 

The Chairman spent Friday 28th in Cherry Willingham viewing an art exhibition by mostly children at Willow Court care home. There was some excellent young talent out there.

 

And finally, Saturday 29th June had seen the Chairman attend at an Armed Forces Celebration at the kind invitation of Gainsborough Town Council.  He thanked those members of the Town Council also present at the evening’s meeting, for hosting the event.

 

 

ii)      Leader of Council

 

The Leader addressed Council and updated the Chamber in respect of the following matters since taking up office: -

 

 

·                Leader’s Panel

 

A meeting of the Leaders’ Panel had been held shortly after the Annual Council meeting on Friday, 24th May. The Leader had taken the decision to split the Group membership in to two meetings; Core Leaders Panel and Full Leaders Panel.

 

The Core Leader’s Panel would tighten the group back up to a more manageable size comprising up to nine members (down from 20 previously), focusing on the Chairmen of the Council’s principle committees and, the Chairman of Council.

 

In consultation with the Chairmen of the policy committees, The Leader had eliminated the Policy Chairs’ Briefing meetings; which served no useful purpose, took up considerable officer time, and duplicated work being undertaken  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Public Question Time

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer confirmed to the meeting that no questions had been received from members of the public.

 

 

28.

Questions Pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No. 9 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Stephen Bunney, Ward Member for the Market Rasen Ward, submitted the following question to the meeting: -

 

1)      Question to Councillor Owen Bierley, Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee, from Councillor Stephen Bunney, Ward Member for the Market Rasen Ward.

 

“Street Littering, Dog Mess and Fly Tipping are problems throughout the whole district.  What measures have West Lindsey District Council taken, or are considering taking, to strengthen the enforcement action to reduce these unpleasant environmental nuisances.  Also have the Council considered adopting the consequence adopted by several Councils, Barnsley and Wolverhampton being examples, of seizing and crushing vehicles from which fly tipping has been proved to have taken place.

 

Thank you”

 

The Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee, Councillor Owen Bierley, responded as follows: -

 

“Thank you for your question Cllr Bunney.

 

The Council has measures in place to tackle these types of issues and have a number of officers who are delegated to issue fixed penalty notices for this type of offence. We aim to target hot spot areas and base our approach on intelligence we have along with information from members of the public. We also use Public Space Protection Orders where necessary.

 

The Council has previously seized vehicles as part of fly tipping investigations and this is an approach we will continue to use in order to ensure that investigations can be carried out and perpetrators can be caught.

 

However, we do recognise that a partnership approach is likely to be most effective in addressing such long-standing problems as these.  For example, in February, West Lindsey ‘signed up’ to work together with Lincolnshire Police, the Environment Agency, the County and other District Councils and other rural stakeholders to further combat fly tipping throughout Lincolnshire.  The District Council also supports volunteer led community litter picks, with no fewer than thirty taking place in April and May alone.  I also firmly believe that, as a Council and as individuals, we have a lobbying role to ensure that officers in rural areas have the necessary measures and powers available to them both now and in the future.” 

 

Having heard the response, the questioner and a further Member requested additional information, namely: -

 

·         The number of cars which had been seized by the Authority

·         The number of cases of this type of offence enforced against and the type of action taken, for example ticket issued or warning given etc.

 

The Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee indicated that he would source such information and provide it to the Members concerned outside of the meeting.

 

29.

Motions Pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No. 10

“COUNCIL TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR EMPTY ALMSHOUSES.

 

What are Alms-houses?

Almshouses are run by local charities. They provide self contained low cost housing. Mostly for older people who have a low income. Often elderly people with no living relatives and homeless with no income or personnel wealth.

 

Where?

Specifically I am referring to the Bell’s Almshouses at Kingerby, which has served the parishes of Osgodby, Kingerby and Claxby since 1675 as their own social housing for those in ‘need, suffering hardship or distress”. This Registered Charity (229226) has a group of trustees made up of two parish councils, the local vicar and three volunteer co-opted members.

 

History.

The six original Almshouse fell into disrepair in the 1970’s and 1980’s. They have since been converted into 3 modern forms of accommodation. The work was fully carried out by local volunteers and as you see in the photograph a beautiful row of cottages in a tranquil setting has been established. The exceptional thing here is local volunteers have provided three one bedroom modern homes with no support or funding from west Lindsey. 3 social houses free to the district.

 

Now fully let under licence not a tenancy to very needy local people. Due to the fact the residents are on licence and not tenants, the trustees do not charge a rent in its legal definition. Currently the licence fee is approximately half a commercial fair rent.

 

The charitable scheme and the latest set of accounts are available for the council to see.

 

Mr. Chairman,

Based upon the brief information I have presented tonight, the history and particularly the resurrection of these modest yet prestigious housing assets in West Lindsey.

 

I am asking for council’s approval to take this matter forward to our Corporate Policy and Resources committee for consideration of approving the exemption of council tax for Unoccupied and Unfurnished Alms-houses.

 

I so move.

 

Councillor Jeff Summers”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Note:         Those Councillors who had previously declared an interest in respect of the motion, left the Chamber.

 

Councillor Jeff Summers submitted the following Motion: -

 

“Council Tax Exemptions for Empty Almshouses.

 

What are Alms-houses?

Almshouses are run by local charities. They provide self contained low cost housing. Mostly for older people who have a low income. Often elderly people with no living relatives and homeless with no income or personnel wealth.

 

Where.

Specifically I am referring to the Bell’s Almshouses at Kingerby, which has served the parishes of Osgodby, Kingerby and Claxby since 1675 as their own social housing for those in ‘need, suffering hardship or distress”. This Registered Charity (229226) has a group of trustees made up of two parish councils, the local vicar and three volunteer co-opted members.

 

History.

The six original Almshouse fell into disrepair in the 1970’s and 1980’s. They have since been converted into 3 modern forms of accommodation. The work was fully carried out by local volunteers and as you see in the photograph a beautiful row of cottages in a tranquil setting has been established. The exceptional thing here is local volunteers have provided three one bedroom modern homes with no support or funding from west Lindsey. 3 social houses free to the district.  Now fully let under licence not a tenancy to very needy local people. Due to the fact the residents are on licence and not tenants, the trustees do not charge a rent in its legal definition. Currently the licence fee is approximately half a commercial fair rent.

 

The charitable scheme and the latest set of accounts are available for the council to see.

 

Mr. Chairman.

Based upon the brief information I have presented tonight, the history and particularly the resurrection of these modest yet prestigious housing assets in West Lindsey.

 

I am asking for Council’s approval to take this matter forward to our Corporate Policy and Resources Committee for consideration of approving the exemption of council tax for Unoccupied and Unfurnished Alms-houses.

 

I so move.”

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Lewis Strange, who spoke in support of the motions principles.

 

The Leader of the Council also thanked Councillors Summers for the motion and indicated it was the right and proper thing for the matter to be referred to Corporate Policy and Resources Committee so the full financial implications of the request were understood before a decision was made.  The Leader was of the belief almshouses currently contributed around £17,000 in Council Tax to provide County, District and Police Services.

 

It was suggested that any paper should also look at the cost of providing exemptions for other supported housing schemes across the District, although no formal motion was moved.

 

The majority of Members were supportive of the motion in principle but indicated they would need to understand the full cost implications of introducing such a policy.

 

Councillors Summers was of the belief the matter would only effect 15 almshouses and be of little cost to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Making the Willoughton Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were asked to give consideration to a report to fully ‘make’ (adopt) the Willoughton Neighbourhood Plan following a successful referendum.

 

Councillor Paul Howitt Cowan, as Local Ward Member, introduced the report. He expressed thanks, to the Group for their hard work, and to the Officers for the support they had offered.

 

Representatives from Willoughton Parish Council were in attendance and prior to Members debating the matter the Chairman invited them to make a short address to Council and present their successful Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Councillor Peter Baldwin, addressed the meeting and made the following short address: -

 

You will be pleased to know I am not making a large speech

 

I would however like to thank some members of the Willoughton Parish Council as well as those villagers who “volunteered” to form the Neighbourhood Development Plan Committee. It has been their time and effort that has resulted in our Plan today.

 

Initially I was unsure about this when it was first raised and two people deserve special mention for helping the Parish Council arrive at a decision. One of those individuals was Luke Brown who went on to be our consultant and worked with us closely through all aspects – we would not be where we are today without Luke’s help.

 

The other person is from within your midst,and that is Councillor Steve England. Again it was very reassuring to have a District Councillor knowledgeable about the process prepared to come along to one of our meetings and answer our questions without any prejudice at all.

 

I am pleased to say that having gone through the process and have an approved Plan in our hands we are delighted with the result.

 

Thank you”

 

Councillor Baldwin then formally presented the Plan to the Chairman.

 

Members across the floor congratulated the Group on their remarkable achievement.

 

It was moved, seconded and duly

 

RESOLVED that the Willoughton Neighbourhood Plan be adopted and made.

 

31.

Treasury Management Annual Report 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 724 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the requirements of the Council’s reporting procedures, Members gave consideration to a report which set out the treasury activity during 2018/19 and the actual Prudential Indicators for 2018/19.

 

The Leader of the Council presented the report and in doing so advised the report had previously been considered by Corporate Policy and Resources Committee

 

This report was a requirement of the regulations issued under the Local Government Act 2003 and was in compliance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management and the Prudential Code for Capital Financing.

 

It was best practice that Full Council received three reports each year and this was the final report which set out what had been actually achieved against the original budgeted position.

 

The Leader indicated he was pleased to advise that: -

 

·         Treasury management activity had been undertaken within the approved Prudential Indicators.

·         The average investments of £15.975m had generated a£246k income, at a weighted average rate of 1.57%

·         Expenditure on capital investments had totalled £21m for the year

  

In respect of financing capital investments from borrowing, this was reflected in the Capital Financing requirement of £23m (cumulative).  The Authority had borrowed £11m from the Public Works Loans Board and had utilised £12m of internal borrowing from cash balances.

 

In respect of our Non-treasury investments in commercial property, expenditure on the Portfolio as at 31 December had totalled £15.984m with the portfolio generating a 7.27% gross yield and resulting in £0.662m contribution to the costs of running council services. 

 

The Council took a risk based approach to acquisitions and financial management and whilst the Authoirty did not charge an Minimum Revenue Provision, set-aside in the Valuation Volatility Reserve was a minimum of 5% of purchase price, to mitigate against any loss of investment upon future sales.  In addition, a Commercial Contingency budget of £200k was included within the base budget to mitigate any shortfall of in year income targets.  This was considered a prudent approach and in concluding his introduction the Leader moved the report.

 

Debate ensued and Members posed a number of questions to Officers expressing concern at the variation of the figures within this report when compared to the Statement of Accounts document.

 

In responding Officers confirmed that the 7.2% yield referred to was a gross yield not a net yield and apologised that this had not been corrected.

 

Addressing the variances within the figures, the 18/19 figures in relation to income were a part year figure.  When preparing Business cases, the full year impact was based on the part year figures. 

 

The 660k contribution was in fact the contribution after all investments costs had been deducted and as such the 7.2% yield related to a much bigger return.

 

Regarding the variation between the figures in this document and the Statement of Accounts the Executive Director of Resources offered all Members a workshop on the matter.  Given the importance of the two documents it was important Members thoroughly understood the Statements.  Members welcomed this opportunity, especially given the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Membership of the Licensing Committee / Regulatory Committee - Appointment of Additional Members pdf icon PDF 328 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members gave consideration to a report which sought to appoint additional Members to the Licensing Committee (and Regulatory Committee due to Constitutional requirements) in order that the Committee met the statutory requirements of the Licensing Act 2003, and to reaffirm the Chairman / Vice-Chairmanship, in light of having had to re-appoint to the Committee.

 

The report also sought to re-appoint the Vice-Chairman of the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee following the resignation of Councillor Kinch from the position.

 

In response to questions, the Monitoring Officer confirmed the oversight at Annual Council had not put the Council at risk as there had been no matters determined by the Licensing Committee in the intervening period.

 

The Monitoring Officer also confirmed that training would be provided for those two additional members that were being appointed to the Committees.

 

The Leader placed on record his thanks to Councillor Kinch for the work he undertaken in the role of Vice-Chairmanship.

 

RESOLVED that: -

 

(a)            the number of Members to be appointed to serve on the Licensing Committee and Regulatory Committee be noted;

 

(b)         the allocation to different political groups of seats on the Licensing Committee and Regulatory Committee, as set out in Appendix 1, be noted;

 

(c)          in accordance with the provisions of section 16 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and the wishes expressed by political groups, Members detailed at Sections 3.3 and 3.4 be appointed to serve to on the Council’s Licensing Committee and Regulatory Committee for the 2019/2020 civic year;

 

(d)         the Chairman and Vice-Chairmanship appointments made at Annual Council on 20 May 2019, in respect of the Licensing Committee and Regulatory Committee, be re-affirmed; and

 

5)           Councillor Anne Welburn be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee with immediate effect.