Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: West Lindsey Leisure Centre, The Avenue, Gainsborough

Contact: Katie Storr  Senior Democratic and Civic Officer

Media

Items
No. Item

40.

Chairman's Welcome

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed all Members and Officers to the Leisure Centre, as the Authority continued to hold its Full Council meetings away from the Guildhall due to ongoing capacity restraints. The Chairman reminded Members of the fire procedures and Covid measures in place before formally opening the meeting.

 

Referencing the tragic and senseless murder of Sir David Amess, MP, the Chairman expressed condolences on behalf of the Authority and encouraged all Members to remain vigilant.

 

 

 

 

41.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 320 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the Minutes of the previous Full Council Meeting held on 6 September 2021.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)     Minutes of the Meeting of Full Council held on 6 September 2021

 

Having being moved and seconded, an update was sought, reference page 38 of the minutes (page 12 of the reports pack) and whether the Chief Executive had undertaken any further work in respect of this matter.  In response, Council were advised the matter would be considered as part of the wider Annual Constitution Review as referenced at the previous meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of Full Council held on 6 September 2021 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

 

42.

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.

 

 

43.

Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Matters Arising Schedule as at 22 October 2021.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Officers introduced the report advising Members that the report would be taken “as read” unless Members had any questions that they wished to raise.

 

With no comments or questions and with no requirement for a vote, the Matters Arising were DULY NOTED.

 

 

 

44.

Announcements

i)             Chairman of Council

ii)            Leader of the Council

iii)           Chief Executive

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Chairman

 

The Chairman addressed Council and advised that October had seen him undertake few Civic engagements, it had, however, been an honour to attend a celebration of the life of the late John Matthews the former Mayor of Market Rasen and a dear friend to many.

 

The previous week, along with other Civic Leaders from across the County and beyond, the Chairman had attended a dinner hosted by the Station Commander at RAF Scampton.

 

The Chairman looked forward to increased engagements over the coming month.

 

Concluding his announcements, the Chairman advised Council that it was regret that he would be losing his Civic Officer, Trudi Hayes.  On behalf of both he and his wife Kathryn, the Chairman thanked Trudi for her support and guidance over the past 3 years, which would be greatly missed, wishing her well in her new role, elsewhere within the Authority.

 

 

Leader

 

The Leader made the following address to Council: -

 

“Naturally I’m absolutely delighted that our application to the first round of the Government’s Levelling-Up Fund was successful, with the full amount sought being awarded to us.  I am aware of how competitive the process was and how many local authorities submitted proposals and I would like to thank all the Officers involved for putting together such a robust, strong bid.  This amount of money will enable us to bring forward transformational change that is sustainable and long-term and that will be of significant benefit to our entire community.  West Lindsey made a compelling case for funding on the basis of not only demonstrable need but also deliverability.

 

The first formal public consultation on the draft Central Lincolnshire Local Plan generated almost 400 responses with a total of 1421 comments made, with at least one on each of the policies.  Huge thanks are due to all who took part.  Joint Planning Unit Officers are now preparing a draft submission document informed by the representations received.  It will be subject to a further public consultation period, which it is hoped will begin in March. Following that the document will be finalised for submission to the Planning Inspectorate.  All of the comments received are available to view at: https://central-lincs/inconsultuk/CLLP.Draft.Local.Plan/listRepsonses

 

In the last financial year no fewer than ninety-one community-led projects were supported through the District Council’s grant schemes to the amount of £92,170.82.  For every £1.00 invested from these funds £6.98 was matched or levered in to the benefit of West Lindsey organisations, equating to an overall sum of £643,931.05.  A recent audit of the service resulted in a ‘high assurance’ opinion, the highest possible.  Complementing this, weekly draws in the West Lindsey Lottery are now well established, supporting voluntary organisations through the acquisition of additional, reliable income.  Registered Good Causes are on track to raise £24,679.20 this year!

 

Finally Chairman, in regard to the coronavirus pandemic, we now face a period of considerable challenge and uncertainty as winter approaches.  Infection rates in West Lindsey increased significantly recently and currently exceed the national average, but  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

Public Question Time

Questions, if received, under this Scheme will be published by way of supplement.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the meeting that no public questions had been received.

 

 

46.

Questions Pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No. 9 pdf icon PDF 324 KB

Questions submitted by Members under Procedure Rule No.9 will be published as a supplement following closure of the deadline.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the meeting that one question pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No.9 had been submitted to the meeting.  This had been circulated to all Members, separately to the agenda.

 

The Chairman invited, Councillor John McNeill, Ward Member for Market Rasen, to put his question to the Leader, as follows: -

 

"One of the many achievements of the current administration at West Lindsey was to build a dry-sided leisure facility at Market Rasen, a decision I fully supported and an outcome I am very proud of. This fulfilled a manifesto commitment made by West Lindsey Conservatives to complete the leisure centre last year.

 

"However, West Lindsey Conservatives also made a manifesto commitment to support bringing forward plans to deliver a swimming pool at the Market Rasen site, where this was able to be done on a sustainable and economic basis. This is something I continue to fully support.

 

"I am given to understand that the Assistant Director, Finance Business Support & Property Services has recently completed work on the viability of building and operating a swimming pool at the leisure centre in Market Rasen.

 

"Is the Leader aware of the detail of this work and can he share this with the Council?

 

"If bringing a swimming pool to Market Rasen Leisure Centre has been determined as unviable, is this on an operational basis – i.e. there is insufficient evidence to suggest that enough users will make use of a swimming pool – or, on the longer term capital financing requirements of such a project – i.e. how we afford the £4-6m required?

 

"If the viability of a swimming pool at Market Rasen rests upon the capital financing requirements, would the Leader agree that action to consider innovative ways of funding a swimming pool is needed? Would the Leader agree that, for example, one of the properties in our commercial investment property portfolio could be sold and the internal borrowing applied to the construction of a swimming pool at Market Rasen?

 

Thank you

Councillor John McNeill”

 

The Leader of the Council, Owen Bierley, responded as follows: -

 

“Thank you for your question Councillor McNeill

 

Officers have undertaken some work on the feasibility of a swimming pool at Market Rasen.  A high-level business case has been developed and is to be presented to the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee for consideration in December.

 

My understanding is that the financial case is proving challenging due to the cost of borrowing required for the scheme, but please be assured that Officers always seek innovative funding solutions as part of their work.

 

Whilst as you suggest an investment property could be sold, the receipt from the sale would need to repay outstanding borrowing in line with our Investment Policy and the impact of the loss of rent income on future budgets would need to be understood. 

 

Internal borrowing is not always sustainable over the long term as we spend our reserves over time in schemes prioritised to deliver our Corporate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

Motions Pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No. 10

No motions, under Procedure Rule No.10 have been submitted for this meeting.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the meeting that no Motions, under Council Procedure Rule No.10, had been submitted to the meeting.

 

 

48.

Recommendation from the Licensing Committee - Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles (Gambling Policy) - Approval pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Licensing Committee presented the Gambling Act 2005 Draft Statement of Principles (the Gambling Policy) to Council, which stood recommended by her Committee, following on from the statutory consultation period.  Full Council were asked to approved the Policy for implementation with effect from 1 January 2022.

 

Members were advised that the Council was required to publish a Statement of Principles and review it every three years; the document formed the basis on which the Council’s licensing decisions were made. The Statement of Principles applied to casino’s, bingo clubs, betting shops, track betting, amusement arcades, gaming machines, prize gaming, lotteries and other forms of gambling.

 

Some minor amendments had been made following on from the consultation and these had been reflected within the final version presented to Members and were summarised in the report.

 

The statutory licensing role that the Council played was key to ensuring that businesses operated safely and responsibly and enabled residents to engage in these activities in a regulated and managed way. It also enabled the Council to take action where premises were not following those principles.

 

The Chairman of the Licensing Committee moved the recommendations, which were duly seconded.

 

On being put to the vote it was: -

 

RESOLVED that the recommendation from Licencing Committee on 16 September 2021 be accepted, and the Gambling Act 2005 – Statement of Principles 22-24 be approved for adoption, with effect from 1 January 2022.

 

 

49.

Recommendation from the Governance and Audit Committee - Adoption of a New Code of Conduct for Members pdf icon PDF 274 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee presented the report, which stood recommended from his Committee.  The report recommended that West Lindsey District Council, and subsequently its Parishes, should adopt the new LGA Model Code of Conduct as the standard by which all Councillors should be expected to adhere.

 

Members had had the opportunity to engage in a workshop in advance of the decision, and reference was made to the pleasing level of engagement. The matter has had thorough debate at both the Standards Sub-Committee and the Governance and Audit  Committee and as such Members’ attention was drawn to the following points:

 

Section 2 of the report summarised the provisions of the new Code, many of which WLDC have already previously adopted, through its work in 2017/18.  The new Code did now include a requirement to comply with any sanctions issued, and to undertake training on Standards Matters and the Code of Conduct.

 

West Lindsey’s current ethos of declarations of interest wider than the legal requirements of the Localism Act were also supported within the new Code section 2.8 of the report provided details.

 

Members noted that whilst moving to the new Code was not a mandatory requirement, a national single code for all Members with clear wording, supporting guidance, working examples and explanatory text was something the Governance and Audit Committee had been of the belief should be welcomed.  

 

Should the recommendations be supported the Authority would over the next few months work with Parishes across the District to encourage that  they too adopted the new Code by May 2022.  The National Association Of Local Councils had indicated their intention to withdraw their current code, instead promoting the LGA Model Code as the standard to work to, indicating the national support behind the new model.

 

Finally, Council were asked to support the Standards Sub-Committee in continuing to lobby the Government to respond to the outstanding recommendations from the Committee for Standards in Public Life, particularly those relating to sanctions, by requesting the Leader to write to relevant Ministers to further highlight this important issue.

 

Debate ensued and a Member questioned the need for a new Code, given the majority of the provisions already existed in West Lindsey’s current code. Declarations of interest did not need further confusing, the additional level was purported to be for greater public transparency however it was suggested it would just cause further confusion. Mandatory training in the absence of any sanction was considered pointless.  It was questioned what action would be taken or could be taken if Councillors failed to attend training.  It was suggested the LGA was a little late with its revision and whilst the regime lacked “teeth”, the Code had little value regardless of its content. No sanctions could be applied and whilst accepting at a District Level group discipline could be applied and censure notices could be damaging to a Party’s reputation, this could not be said with regard to Parish Councillors.  The scope of when the code applied  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.