Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - The Guildhall. View directions

Contact: Katie Coughlan  Governance and Civic Officer

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Items
No. Item

66.

Chairman's Welcome

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed all Members, Officers, and  Members of the Public present to the meeting.

 

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

 

The Chairman asked Councillors, Officers and members of the public alike to join him in a minutes silence for the family and friends of those who had lost loved ones;  for Andrew Hancock, WLDC’s former Chief executive , for friend and colleague Councillor Judy Rainsforth on the sad and untimely loss of her son Richard, and for former long standing Councillor, friend to many and the Chairman’s personal mentor Malcolm Parish.

 

Following the minutes silence the Chairman paid tribute to his former friend and mentor Malcolm Parish.  Colleagues from all political persuasions across the Chamber also paid tribute to former Councillor Parish, sharing their memories of and fondest moments with Councillor Parish, who had been a larger than life character and permanent fixture on the benches of West Lindsey for over 30 years.  Councillor Diana Rodgers advised she would keep Members abreast of funeral arrangements as they were made and personal condolences should be sent to Mr Parish’s home address. 

 

67.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 374 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the previous meeting held on 20 January 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)      Minutes of the Meeting of Full Council held on 20 January 2020

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of Full Council held on 20 January 2020 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

68.

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:

No declarations were made.

69.

Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The remaining green action relating to referencing Anti-Semitism within the Constitution would be brought forward as part of the Annual Review of the Constitution due for consideration by Council at its meeting in May.  Furthermore, a new Equalities Strategy was being developed and was shortly due for consideration by the Prosperous Communities Committee, it was intended to also include reference to Anti-Semitism within that Strategy.

 

With reference to the action entitled – “sale of fireworks – lobby LCC” the Leader advised that he had now received a response.  This was holding in nature and therefore he would further update Council in the event he received further information. 

 

RESOLVED that the Matters Arising be duly noted.

 

70.

Announcements

i)             Chairman of Council

ii)            Leader of the Council

iii)           Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Chairman

 

The Chairman took the opportunity to bring Members’ attention some up and coming events.

 

Once again WLDC were  looking for nominations from Councillors for Parish Council of the Year. The shield, currently held by Great Limber Parish Council, was awarded each year to a Parish Council able to demonstrate a level of excellence and innovation throughout the past year. Councillors were encouraged to make nominations, to celebrate the good work that our town and parishes undertook. The winning council would be invited to a presentation at Full Council in May. Nomination forms were available at the back of the chamber but would also be e-mailed to all Members.

 

 

Tomorrow evening would see the launch of the Council’s Community Lottery at Hemswell Court, to which all Councillors were welcome to attend.  The lottery would provide an opportunity to offer funding from the proceeds to the wonderful community groups who enriched the district by their hard work and dedication.

 

Since Council’s last meeting, the intervening weeks had been rather quiet on the civic front. However, the Chairman had attended several functions, among them: -

·         a fund raiser for the air ambulance , commenting on his admiration for their work;

·         an invitation from Nettleham Parish Council to perform the turf cutting ceremony of their new play area, partly funded by WLDC;.

·         the opening of a new kitchen and toilet facility at Wickenby parish church, alongside the Acting Bishop of Lincoln.  This had been a long held wish of the church, which again was in part made possible by some of the funding from West Lindsey;

·         attending the opening of the superb new development by Lace Housing in Nettleham; and

·         welcoming the former England rugby captain Dylan Hartley to Gainsborough Academy to promote “Invest Gainsborough”.

 

The Chairman concluded his announcements by advising Members that he would be hosting a concert on behalf of his charity, Food in School Holidays (fish) at St. Mary’s church Welton on 3 April.   The Cabra singers and the band of the Gainsborough Salvation Army were freely giving their services.  Tickets were priced at £8 and available from the Civic Officer

 

 

Leader

 

The Leader addressed Council and updated the Chamber in respect of the following matters: -

 

 

The Leader was very pleased with the positive comments from the LGA Peer Review team about the openness and honesty of both Officers and colleagues on the benches. He considered this a testament to the culture of transparency held by West Lindsey. The initial feedback had been shared with Members at the Strategic Forum at the end of January and was overall very positive about the strengths of West Lindsey District Council but robust enough to offer suggestions about opportunities that could make the Council even better.  He was eager to see the full report in the coming weeks and remained fully committed to publishing this report in the public domain.

 

The Leader had attended APSE’s Association meeting in Edinburgh. One topic of particular interest was Dr. Peter Kenway’s discussion ‘Climate Change  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.

71.

Public Question Time

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

72.

Questions Pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No. 9 pdf icon PDF 258 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Jim Snee, Ward Member for the Gainsborough North Ward, submitted the following question to the Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee: -

 

“Throughout the West Lindsey area decaying, derelict, run down Grade 2 Listed buildings are a blot on their immediate environment.  They are eyesores, frequently in central locations, which do no favours for the local economy.  The negative vibes extruding from such buildings (like the former Lea Road School in Gainsborough and the HSBC bank in Market Rasen to name just two) create a level of despondency amongst locals and visitors, causing them to hurry past and move on - taking their patronage elsewhere.  The results are areas of decline, which are not conversant with the WLDC and LCC objective of promoting a ‘visitor economy’, as expressed in the Central Lincolnshire Plan and other officially approved documents.

 

The physical state of these buildings is usually one of decay and disrepair.  They become magnets for the adventurous and inquisitive minds of young people, and also act as ‘safe havens’ for the vulnerable of today’s modern society.  They are a clear health and safety risk, which can not be tolerated by the Council and residents of the district.   It is surely a major blessing that the exceptional winds and rainfall of the recent storms, Ciara and Dennis, did not create significant damage to the buildings, infrastructure or more importantly members of the public.

 

Despite the obvious negative effect these buildings have on our communities there appears to be  no district wide policies, development plans or financial grant schemes to address the problems created by them.

 

What is being done to address this lack of policies, on restoring declining listed buildings, and what progress is envisaged to ensure an acceptable, high standard for all  communities within the district of West Lindsey?

 

Councillors andresidents need to be aware of these policies to be reassured that WLDC is seriously tackling the declining areas of our community, and is taking every available measure to bring about improvements. Even if they do not fit into the ‘enterprise’, economic affordable model of a balanced budget.

 

Thank you

Cllr Jim Snee”

 

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

 

Thank you, Cllr Snee, for your most prescient question.

 

Firstly, the importance and value of listed buildings is fully recognised and their ongoing protection ensured by Section 6 of the National Planning Policy Framework, Paragraphs 184 to 188 and within Section 5 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan, especially Policy LP25: The Historic Environment.  Neighbourhood Development Plans add further richness and understanding in this area by considering those built assets that, although they may not be listed, are nonetheless important to the community either individually or in groups.

 

Section 5.10.5 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan states that:

 

Our positive strategy for the historic environment will be achieved through the implementation of Policy LP25 and through:

 

- the preparation and maintenance of a list of buildings and other heritage assets  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.

73.

Motions Pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No. 10

“Chairman

 

Dog Fouling 

 

Council Notes: 

1.     Dog foulingis notonly deeplyunpleasant, itis dangerous. Whilstrare, contactwith  dogexcrement cancause toxocariasis– anasty infectionthat canlead todizziness, nausea, asthma and even blindness or seizures 

2.     Dog foulingis anoffence andcan resultin offendersbeing issuedwith aFixed Penalty Noticeof upto £75.Ifthe casegoes tocourt thiscould costtheowner orperson in charge of the animal up to £1,000 

3.     The law states that being unaware a dog has fouled or not having a suitable bag is not a reasonable excuse 

4.     There are estimated to be more than 8 million dogs producing more than 1,000 tonnes of excrement every day in the UK alone 

5.     A Keep Britain Tidy campaign in 2010 had considerable success on the issue of dog fouling.   ‘There’s no such thing as the dog poo fairy’ led to massive reductions in dog fouling in participating councils’ areas. That some communities saw a decrease of up to 90%, while on average a reduction of 43% was recorded across the 94 participating local authorities 

 

Council Believes:

 

1.     Most dog owners are caring, responsible individuals, however, the small minority of those, who do not clean up after their pets are acting irresponsibly 

2.     That several councils have had success with the ‘Green Dog Walkers’ scheme (along the lines of that piloted, developed and trail blazed by Falkirk Council in 2008). They arefriendly, non-confrontationalprojects thatbring aboutthe changeof community behaviour by the modelling of good behaviour.

 

Council Resolves to: 

 

1. Request that the Prosperous Communities Committee undertake to: 

a.   Assess the scale of the problem across the District 

b.  Commissionwork toinvestigatesuccessful initiativesundertaken byother  Councils,  including  the  ‘Green  Dog  Walkers’ scheme,  assessing  them  for  viability and value for money  

c.   Bring forward and consider proposals to implement suitable initiatives to deal with the problem 

d. Developa schemeto educateirresponsible dogowners thatnot clearingup after  their pets is anti-social behaviour that the council does not tolerate 

 

We so move”

 

Cllr. Anne Welburn             Cllr. Stephen Bunney 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Anne Welburn and Councillor Stephen Bunney submitted the following Motion: -

 

“Council Notes: 

1.      Dog fouling is not only deeply unpleasant, it is dangerous. Whilst rare, contact with  dog excrement can cause toxocariasis – a nasty infection that can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma and even blindness or seizures 

2.      Dog fouling is an offence and can result in offenders being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £75. If the case goes to court this could cost the owner or person in charge of the animal up to £1,000 

3.      The law states that being unaware a dog has fouled or not having a suitable bag is not a reasonable excuse 

4.      There are estimated to be more than 8 million dogs producing more than 1,000 tonnes of excrement every day in the UK alone 

5.      A Keep Britain Tidy campaign in 2010 had considerable success on the issue of dog fouling.   ‘There’s no such thing as the dog poo fairy’ led to massive reductions in dog fouling in participating councils’ areas. That some communities saw a decrease of up to 90%, while on average a reduction of 43% was recorded across the 94 participating local authorities 

 

Council Believes: 

1.      Most dog owners are caring, responsible individuals, however, the small minority of those, who do not clean up after their pets are acting irresponsibly 

2.  That several councils have had success with the ‘Green Dog Walkers’ scheme (along the lines of that piloted, developed and trail blazed by Falkirk Council in 2008). They are friendly, non-confrontational projects that bring about the change of community behaviour by the modelling of good behaviour.

 

Council Resolves to: 

1.      Request that the Prosperous Communities Committee undertake to: 

a.      Assess the scale of the problem across the District 

b.      Commission work to investigate successful initiatives undertaken by other  Councils,  including  the  ‘Green  Dog  Walkers’  scheme,  assessing  them  for  viability and value for money  

c.      Bring forward and consider proposals to implement suitable initiatives to deal with the problem 

d.      Develop a scheme to educate irresponsible dog owners that not clearing up after  their pets is anti-social behaviour that the council does not tolerate.

 

We so move. 

Cllr. Anne Welburn            Cllr. Stephen Bunney”

 

The motion as submitted was duly seconded. 

 

Numerous Members from across the Chamber spoke in support of the motion, which they considered was a concern for the majority of communities across the District.

 

A Councillor sought indication of the number of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) the Authority had issued for dog fouling offences in the last three years and Officers undertook to provide the information outside of the meeting.

 

Another Member advised that the Dogs Trust offered a plethora of advice regarding the matter.

 

Some parishes had appointed their own wardens, who were fully trained and qualified and could issue FPNs.

 

Councillor Milne, Chairman of the Regulatory Committee advised that the Council was committed to reducing dog fouling across the District and was in the process of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Adoption of the Sudbrooke Neigbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Councillor Bob Waller, 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. He acknowledged the time, effort and commitment needed to complete a Neighbourhood Plan.  He considered it a commendable achievement and had resulted in a plan the Group and village could be proud of.  In concluding, he paid tribute to former Councillor Curtis, who had been instrumental in getting the Group started on their way in producing such a worthwhile plan, which he commended to Council. 

 

Representatives from Sudbrooke Neighbourhood Planning Group 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.

 

Mr Peter Heath, Chairman of Sudbrooke Parish Council addressed the meeting and made the following statement: -

 

“It gives me great pleasure to present to the Council the completed Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish of Sudbrooke. The Plan has entailed a great deal of hard work by the Steering group set up to construct it.  The Parish Council initially called for volunteers to work on the Plan and were heartened by the response from both the Parish councillors and members of the community. We lost a champion of the village early on when Cllr Stuart Curtis sadly passed away and with him went a font of local knowledge. Our Steering group persevered with the task but suffered from a high drop out rate of members because of the time commitment required and amount of detail that had not been appreciated at first.

 

The provisions in this plan reflect the opinions of our village residents in looking forward to how we want our village to develop and be viewed by the wider community. With it we look forward to further additions to the village to enhance the quality of life for our residents. It will provide guidance for this council when determining planning applications and hopefully prevent development detrimental to future residents. It has also enabled a review of our village that reflects a history going back to the Domesday Book. The coverage of the natural environment will also benefit the community when assessing environmental changes over the coming decades.

  

We were greatly assisted and encouraged by Cllr Steve England whose experience and depth of knowledge provided a pathway for the production of the professional report you see before you. I should also like to mention the support given by Cllr Ian Fleetwood and Mr Luke Brown as a facilitators. I would also like to thank Mrs Barbara Bingham for her dedication and hard work, despite trying personal circumstances, without which I would not be here tonight. I commend this Plan to the Council.”

 

Councillor Heath then formally presented the Plan to the Chairman.

 

Members across the floor congratulated the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

Approval for Exemption from Procurement pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members gave consideration to a report which sought approval for procurement exemption in respect of the contract for the support and maintenance of the Cremator at Lea Fields Crematorium.

 

It was noted that Officers had delegated authority to approve procurement exemptions up to a threshold of £50k.  Exemptions required at a higher threshold were delegated to the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee but due to expedience the report had been brought to Council.  

 

In response to comments, it was confirmed that as part of the Council’s financial due diligence, the original business plan identified costs in relation to the purchase and support and maintenance of the crematoria and abatement equipment. The provision of the cremator was included in the overall build contract with Willmott Dixon and was purchased by them directly. 

 

The procurement of ongoing support and maintenance was a task for the District Council as the end user but money had been set aside in the MTFP for such and therefore this was not an additional cost or after thought.

 

Having being moved and seconded it was: -

 

RESOLVED that the exemption be approved and Council directly award the contract for support and maintenance of the crematoria and abatement equipment to Facultatieve Technologies Ltd for a 10 year agreement, avoiding the application of the percentage increase that would be applied through the framework route and save the Council up to £10k over the life of the contract.

 

 

76.

Executive Business Plan, Medium Term Financial Strategy and Plan 2020/21 - 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 1022 KB

Note: In accordance with paragraph, 14.4 of Council Procedure Rules and in- line with national Regulation the budget decision will be made by way of recorded vote.

 

Note: The County Council is yet to formally confirm its Council Tax (meeting being held 21 February) in the event that there are any changes from the figures published within this report, the following sections of this report will be re-issued prior to the Council Meeting.

 

a)        the table at 3.3 of the MTFP

b)         Appendix 8 and

c)         Appendix 12

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members gave consideration to a report which presented the Executive Business Plan and the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2020/21 – 2024/25.  These documents were central to the Council’s financial and strategic planning.

 

The Chief Executive presented the report and in doing so placed on record his thanks to Tracey Bircumshaw and the finance team for their work in preparing the documents presented to Members.

 

The Executive Business Plan set out the current contextual environment at a national, regional and local level in which the Council operated and identified at a high level the deliverable outcomes over the next three years.

 

These outcomes were linked to the Members’ objectives as set out in the Corporate Plan 2019-2023.

 

The Medium Term Financial Plan set out how the Council intended to finance the Executive Business Plan and forecast over a five year period the revenue and capital financial position of the Authority.   In addition, it attempted to forecast for a ten year horizon the impact of the Council’s longer term projects.

 

The Budget presented to Members for 2020/21 of £14,357m was balanced with a transfer to reserves of £1.2m.

 

This position had been arrived at due to the one year roll over settlement which was announced in November 2019. However, with the Fairer Funding review, the Business Rate Reset, Business rate retention and the Spending Review to come in 2020, the settlement for future years was very uncertain.

 

The underlying assumptions for the budget could be found on page 69, section 2.3 and included 2% increase in Council Tax. It was noted this was lower than the maximum the Council could have charged, which would have been an increase of £5 equivalent to an increase of 2.35%.

 

The Chief Executive confirmed that the MTFP met the requirements of the regulations; the requirement for the local Authority to agree a balanced budget

for each financial year, prior to the start of that year; the requirement for the local Authority to establish the level of Council Tax for the coming year on the basis of that budget and, furthermore, met best practice (supported by CIPFA) by setting out the coming year’s budget in addition to a 5 year MTFP.

 

Finally the Chief Executive drew Members’ attention to his S151 Officer statement at page 74, section 2.10 on the robustness of estimates, the adequacy of reserves and the affordability of capital investments.

 

The Leader of the Council made the following speech in response: -

 

“Thank you, Chairman.

 

The Executive Business Plan and Medium-Term Financial Plan 2020/21 - 2024/25 are the documents that form the Council’s Budget.

 

As members who sit on the policy committees will know, the process of drawing together the budget is an almost never-ending task; and I would wish to record my thanks and that of colleagues on the Administration’s benches for all the officers who have played their part in the process. Thank you.

 

As you might expect, Chairman, the Budget documentation should contain no surprises; these have been through our  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.