Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Katie Storr  Senior Democratic and Civic Officer

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Items
No. Item

26.

Register of Attendance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed all present to the third virtual meeting of Full Council.

 

The Monitoring Officer was requested to undertake the formal roll-call to confirm all Members were in attendance.

 

The roll-call for both Members and Officers was undertaken, during which apologies were noted from Councillors Clews, Rodgers and Young.

 

 

27.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 348 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the previous meeting held on 7 September 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)      Minutes of the Meeting of Full Council held on 7 September 2020

 

Having being moved and seconded, on being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of Full Council held on 7 September 2020 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

 

28.

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 of interest were made at this point of the meeting.

 

 

29.

To Elect a Leader of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed and seconded that Councillor Owen Bierley be appointed as the Leader of the Council. 

 

Opposition Members sought indication from the newly proposed Leader as to the status of the former Leader in terms of whether he remained a member of the administration and whether he would be present and voting this evening.

 

The Monitoring Officer, addressed Members advising that Councillor G McNeill remained a serving member of Council, whilst he was suspended from the Conservative Group, he remained a Member of the Administration, hence no adjustment to the political balance was required.

 

There were no further nominations. On being put to the vote it was:-

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Owen Bierley be elected Leader of the Council for the remainder of the 2020/21 civic year.

 

Councillor Bierley addressed Council and expressed his thanks at having been appointed and made the following address to Council: -

 

“Thank you, Council, for your confidence in and support for me.

 

Although I assume the role of Leader of the Council with great humility, I also do so with firm resolve and a clear vision for the future direction and place of our District.

 

I’d like to put on record my deep gratitude to my predecessors, Cllrs Giles McNeill and Jeff Summers, for their dedicated, effective and tireless work on behalf of this authority and the whole of West Lindsey.

 

Chairman, in normal times our success as an organisation would be measured by how well we deliver, improve and innovate the services we provide. 

 

However we are (and will remain for some time to come) in unprecedented circumstances owing to the coronavirus pandemic, with a second national lockdown taking effect on Thursday. 

 

That places an additional duty and expectation on us all, elected representatives and Officers alike, as one Council, to fully support our businesses, communities, individuals and organisations through such a challenging, worrying, time. 

 

We demonstrated how effective we are in doing so during the first lockdown and I firmly believe we can do so again this time.

 

Thank you again”

 

 

30.

To Elect a Deputy Leader of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed and seconded that Councillor Paul Howitt-Cowan be appointed as the Deputy Leader of the Council. 

 

There were no further nominations. On being put to the vote it was: -

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Paul Howitt-Cowan be elected Deputy Leader of the Council for the remainder of 2020/21 civic year.

 

Councillor Howitt-Cowan addressed Council and expressed his thanks at having being appointed.

 

 

 

 

31.

Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the report advising Members that the report would be taken “as read” unless Members’ had any questions.

 

With reference to the action entitled “Fireworks Motion” in response to a Member’s request, Officers undertook to again pursue a response from the County Council.

 

With no requirement for a vote, the Matters Arising were DULY NOTED.

 

 

 

 

 

32.

Announcements

i)             Chairman of Council

ii)            Leader of the Council

iii)           Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman started his announcements advising that Civic commitments for obvious reasons had been limited, and following the Government announcement on Saturday were likely to remain the same for some time.

 

He had however had the pleasure and privilege of travelling around the district meeting and presenting the Community Awards in person to the worthy recipients.  Having had to forgo the usual awards ceremony, a different approach had been adopted this year, presenting the awards at the recipient’s home or workplace.  The Chairman considered, in many ways,  it had been ideal, allowing him to spend more time chatting and getting to know the winners than a ceremony would usually allow, making it a far more personal affair.

 

What had been apparent from these doorstep visits, from all the winners their humility and a desire to “put something back into the community” approach. 

 

In concluding his announcements, the Chairman publicly congratulated the winners again, thanked them for the great work they undertook in in their communities and wished them well for the future, before handing over to the Leader.

 

 

Leader

 

The Leader made the following address to Council: -

 

“Members will be aware that Lincolnshire was not included as one of the areas to go forward for local government reorganisation this year.  I welcome that for a number of reasons, with the need to focus all of the resources we have available, both financial and human, in supporting businesses, communities and individuals through the coronavirus pandemic being foremost among them.  However, to be clear, I remain steadfastly supportive of the need for fairer funding for rural areas in general and for Lincolnshire in particular and for the principle of devolved powers and budgets.

 

I very much welcome the announcement that the John Coupland Hospital now serves as an Urgent Treatment Centre.  Already a great asset to Gainsborough and the wider area this is an appropriate and pragmatic development made even more significant by the second national lockdown.

 

Finally I’m pleased to confirm that West Lindsey District Council’s response to the recent consultation on the Planning for the Future White Paper has been submitted.  Thank you to all Members and officers who contributed to the process.”

 

 

Chief Executive

 

The Chief Executive addressed Council, and started his announcements by providing an update in respect of COVID-19 and the work that would be undertaken in the coming days / weeks, following the Government’s announcement of a further national lockdown to take effect, Thursday, this week.  He was currently working with the Management team to ensure the authority were in a position to be able to offer appropriate support to businesses and the community over the next four weeks.

 

Final details on the support being offered were still emerging from the Government and the Chief Executive undertook to include as much detail as possible in his weekly message to Members on Friday.

 

With regards to National Lockdown Business Grants, again recently announced by the Government, as with previous grant regimes the authority would establish a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 359 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the meeting that one question  and one statement had been submitted to the meeting. 

 

The question had been submitted by Mr Richard Armstrong, who was present at the meeting  to address Council.  The statement had been submitted by Normanby-by-Spital Parish Council, who had been unable to send a representative and as such the Monitoring Officer would read the statement to the meeting.

 

The Chairman welcomed Mr Armstrong and invited him to put his question to the meeting: -

 

“How do WLDC expect to respond to the overwhelming comments and feedback received for a Normanby by Spital Single Neighbourhood Plan? 

 

·         Will WLDC decide to endorse a single plan and simply note the residents feedback in the consultancy Neighbourhood Plan documents or

·         Will they chose to intervene and advise Normanby Parish Council that residents clearly want a joint plan with Owmby? 

·         Whilst WLDC may not have the power to overturn the Normanby Parish Council decision, WLDC I feel have a moral duty to act and mediate with Normanby PC over this injustice and lack of respect for the villagers they are meant to represent but simply don’t.

 

Considerations: -

 

The situation is about a lack of trust from Normanby Council towards both its residents and Owmby Parish Council and even West Lindsey District Council and the Localism Act.

Residents overwhelmingly support a Joint Plan and we have collected approximately 100 letters/emails of support all from residents, all within the consultation period and all of which were willing to sign.

Additionally a Petition signed by 138 residents requesting the Parish Council reconsider reinstating the Joint Plan was completely ignored in November 2019 and not even mentioned.  How can that be right? Normanby Council may argue that residents have been coerced into signing the petition and neighbourhood plan support letter.  I am afraid that is not true.  Me and 8 other very honourable residents of this village received those signatures very easily and very willingly from residents of the village.  Residents clearly want and demand change and want a joint plan.  The Localism Act empowers residents, but Normanby simply don’t listen and are stopping democracy working.  It feels like the real reason the Joint Plan was voted down was due to long standing personality clashes and a lack of trust in both Owmby and West Lindsey District Council.  This is evidenced in one of the three attachments I have provided – please do read them especially paragraphs 4 and 6 and the reasons to object to the joint plan, as this evidences how a lack of trust, is impacting rational decision making. Another important letter is the letter I have provided from the Chairman of Owmby Parish Council.

West Lindsey’s Officers recommend that you agree to two separate plans, on the technicality that the village boundaries can be withdrawn.  How does this leave 138 villagers and democracy in our village. And finally, please leave this meeting knowing you made the right decision and only decision in support of localism.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Questions Pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No. 9 pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the meeting that three questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No.9 had been submitted to the meeting.  Unfortunately the first questioner, Councillor Trevor Young, had had to submit his apologies to the meeting. Therefore, at the request of the Chairman, the Monitoring Officer read aloud the question submitted from Councillor Young as follows: -

 

“Since the start of the Covid Pandemic in March, the local business sector including manufacturing, hospitality and retail have suffered immensely, and we face risks of serious job losses in our area.  

 

Could the Leader of the Council please inform the council if the administration has carried out an economic impact assessment across the district. If so, could the Leader please share the analysis and what are the main priorities for protecting and supporting businesses in each of the main towns.

 

Also, could the Leader share the administrations intended strategy of supporting the local business sector and provide some examples of recent activity.

Thank you”

 

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

 

“Thank you for your question Councillor Young and whilst the question is relatively short, the answer I wish to provide would take far more time than this question procedure would permit.

 

In summary, yes, an Economic Impact assessment has been undertaken; weekly summaries are prepared by the Local Enterprise Partnership and West Lindsey is an active partner in that process.  This work is discussed and actioned through the Economy Recovery Group and fed into our Management Team Recovery Group.

 

What these assessments have told us is that the key challenges for WLDC are:

 

*        Micro businesses and the lack of resilience

*        Retail, Hospitality, Leisure, Visitor Economy and manufacturing are fragile

*        There were high levels of furlough comparable to the rest of the County in Summer 2020

*        There are high claimant counts, particularly in the 18-24 co-hort.

 

 West Lindsey’s response to date has included:

 

*        Business grants totalling £17,747,000 to over 16,000 businesses

*        Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub established as key point for all business support- new web pages and messages to articulate this.

*        Think Local Campaign, almost 100 businesses signed up and pages / posts getting high levels of interaction

*        Launched Kickstart Scheme to offer at least 30 paid work placements in partnership with local businesses

*        Re-Opening High Streets Safely – focussed campaign on 7 retail areas

*        FSB Partnership

 

We are the only district in the County to have brought in the Federation of Small Businesses partnership in recognition of the make-up of our economy being largely focused on micro businesses.

 

The short-term priorities, which are articulated through the economy recovery plan, are as follows: -

 

Business Support (Delivery Measure)

Strategic Objective :  to re-purpose existing business support schemes and design new business support schemes that meet the challenges of Covid-19.

 

Workforce (Delivery Measure)

Strategic Objective :  To take measures to meet the changing employment and training needs of the Greater Lincolnshire workforce in the context of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Motions Pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No. 10

Motion 1

 

Combating Litter

 

“Chairman, I am sure that we will all have spoken to residents over the last few months who have commented on how dramatically litter levels declined during the national lockdown.  However, litter is again becoming a common issue despite the hard work of the street cleaners and bin men.  Therefore, all of  us must play our part in preventing the build up of litter in our community.  This motion outlines how we can do this.

 

West Lindsey District Council notes that:

·         The Keep Britain Tidy Campaign offers local councils the opportunity to become members of a Network, which provides access to specialist advice and support.

·         The campaign is also promoting a Love Parks campaign and a Charity Bin sponsorship scheme whereby the monies raised from recycling cans is contributed to local charities.

·         Several national supermarket chains are now operating trials of reverse vending machines, whose customers are rewarded for returning used cans and bottles for recycling.

·         DEFRA has published a voluntary code for local businesses and groups to sign up to and reduce the litter that results from fast food businesses.

 

West Lindsey District Council recognises that:

·         Whilst we are committed to tackling litter in our District and to working for cleaner streets, roads, verges and public spaces across our communities, we can not do this alone.

·         In the battle for cleaner streets and public spaces, we must involve the public and businesses in a co-operative effort.

·         There are community champions and organisations commendably  ‘doing their bit’.

·         In doing their bit, residents and businesses help the Council make the

·         streets, town/villages, parks and public amenities of our District more inviting to residents and visitors.

 

West Lindsey District Council resolves to:

·         Promote participation in litter prevention activities to members of the public, community, faith and youth groups, through our social media, website and existing emails-outs to partners.

·         To examine the merits of becoming a local authority member of the Keep Britain Tidy Network, and identify which of the campaign’s including Love Parks and Charity Bins, could be introduced in the District.

·         Ask the Leader and Chief Executive to write to national supermarket chains with stores in this district asking them to install a reverse vending machine.

·         Promote take up of the DEFRA voluntary code amongst our fast food businesses and local business partnerships and seek their sponsorship for the introductory of a Charity Bin scheme and for public education programme.

 

I so move.

 

Councillor Stephen Bunney”

 

 

Motion 2

 

Universal Credit and Free School Meals

 

“Chairman, it is widely accepted that the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit along with the provision of vouchers to those families eligible for Free School Meals has been a lifeline for families during the coronavirus storm. 

 

The ending of the Universal Credit uplift in April 2021 will see families, representing around 16 million individuals, overnight lose £1040 per year.

 

Inevitably this will hit those on the lowest incomes and families with children.  The Joseph Rowntree Foundation  ...  view the full agenda text for item 35.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Stephen Bunney had submitted the following motion

 

“Combating Litter

 

Chairman, I am sure that we will all have spoken to residents over the last few months who have commented on how dramatically litter levels declined during the national lockdown.  However, litter is again becoming a common issue despite the hard work of the street cleaners and bin men.  Therefore, all of  us must play our part in preventing the build up of litter in our community.  This motion outlines how we can do this.

 

West Lindsey District Council notes that:

·         The Keep Britain Tidy Campaign offers local councils the opportunity to become members of a Network, which provides access to specialist advice and support.

·         The campaign is also promoting a Love Parks campaign and a Charity Bin sponsorship scheme whereby the monies raised from recycling cans is contributed to local charities.

·         Several national supermarket chains are now operating trials of reverse vending machines, whose customers are rewarded for returning used cans and bottles for recycling.

·         DEFRA has published a voluntary code for local businesses and groups to sign up to and reduce the litter that results from fast food businesses.

 

West Lindsey District Council recognises that:

·         Whilst we are committed to tackling litter in our District and to working for cleaner streets, roads, verges and public spaces across our communities, we cannot do this alone.

·         In the battle for cleaner streets and public spaces, we must involve the public and businesses in a co-operative effort.

·         There are community champions and organisations commendably  ‘doing their bit’.

·         In doing their bit, residents and businesses help the Council make the

·         streets, town/villages, parks and public amenities of our District more inviting to residents and visitors.

 

West Lindsey District Council resolves to:

·         Promote participation in litter prevention activities to members of the public, community, faith and youth groups, through our social media, website and existing emails-outs to partners.

·         To examine the merits of becoming a local authority member of the Keep Britain Tidy Network, and identify which of the campaign’s including Love Parks and Charity Bins, could be introduced in the District.

·         Ask the Leader and Chief Executive to write to national supermarket chains with stores in this district asking them to install a reverse vending machine.

·         Promote take up of the DEFRA voluntary code amongst our fast food businesses and local business partnerships and seek their sponsorship for the introduction of a Charity Bin scheme and for public education programme.

 

I so move.

 

Councillor Stephen Bunney”

 

The Leader of the Council made an initial response to the motion: -

 

“I would whole-heartedly support this motion and its intention.  Tackling litter in our District and working for cleaner streets, roads, verges and public spaces across our communities, has always been a priority for this Council.  It is also fully recognised (and I support your view) that the battle for cleaner streets and a more inviting District for residents and visitors alike is something the Council must work in partnership to deliver.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

LGA Peer Challenge Outcome and Update pdf icon PDF 189 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Executive introduced the report, advising that in January 2020, West Lindsey District Council had received a visit from a Peer Team provided by the Local Government Association.

 

The final report was expected to be presented to the Annual Council in May 2020, however due to the impact of Covid-19, that meeting had been cancelled.

 

The report sought to provide an update on progress against the recommendations arising from the Peer Review

 

The full report was available at Appendix 1 to the report.  The overall message from the Peer Group was very positive and they had been particularly complimentary about the passion and commitment of both elected Members and Officers.

 

The final report had made ten recommendations. These had previously been shared with Members and were set out at Section 2 of the report. 

 

The presentation attached at Appendix 2 provided an update on progress against the recommendations and this was summarised to the meeting, noting good progress had been made, in particular, in implementing the Senior Structure and simplifying Customer First.

 

The Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee assured Members that the Action Plan would be monitored by his Committee and would remain a priority for the Council.

 

Debate ensued and the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee shared with the meeting her experience of the review process, which she considered had been unfairly led and the questioner negatively influenced by previous comments.  Objectivity she felt had been lacking, and she felt the criticisms levied against the Scrutiny Committee, which she felt was in its infancy under her leadership, had been given undue prominence within the report.

 

Councillor Rollings believed there was a greater conflict between community services/ well-being role of the Authority and the income generation ethos of the Council, which the report failed to highlight but needed to be investigated.

 

Noting the recommendation, the Council should develop a Cultural Strategy, she urged that culture be considered in the widest sense, personal development, well-being and mental health. There was a real need to improve Sporting activities and  participation rates across the District and to seek a view from the community.

 

Acknowledging all the great work the Council and Officers undertook, Councillor Rollings indicated she could not support the report, due mainly to her concerns around the process which had been undertaken, its impartiality and fairness.

 

In response, the Chief Executive confirmed that the Cultural Strategy would be developed in the widest sense, encompassing, arts heritage and leisure in a single strategy.   Regarding the process, it was imperative that all involved felt it was inclusive, and such Councillor Rollings comments would be fed back to the LGA.

 

In response to further comments, and concerns regarding how the current Pandemic may affect performance particularly financially and the need to improve community outreach and improve stakeholder communication the Chief Executive advised the Peer Review had concluded the Council was in a good financial position. Acknowledging Councillors’ concerns, the planned half year review of the Medium Term  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Normanby by Spital and Owmby by Spital parish councils - Applications for Neighbourhood Plans pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of Council, in his role as Member Champion for Neighbourhood Planning presented the report to Members.   The report requested Members to determine separate applications received from Normanby by Spital and Owmby by Spital Parish Councils to prepare their own neighbourhood plans for their parish areas only.

 

It was noted that such applications were normally dealt with under delegated powers but due to the level of public response from consultations on the applications it was agreed that this should instead be a matter for Full Council.

 

Normanby by Spital and Owmby by Spital Parish Councils had been working together on a joint neighbourhood plan covering both parishes. Although evidence base work had been undertaken, a first version of the joint NP had not been prepared.

 

Late last year the Council had become aware that the joint NP was having governance difficulties, and in May this year the Council received notification from Normanby by Spital Parish Council (PC) that it had decided to formally withdraw from sharing the joint neighbourhood plan with Owmby by Spital PC.  Instead, it had applied to the Council to prepare its own neighbourhood plan for Normanby by Spital parish only. Owmby by Spital subsequently did the same.

 

Public consultations on both applications had been completed. The Council was very much aware that the majority of comments were not in favour of the separate applications and that those residents would like to see work on the joint NP continue.

 

However, it was stressed to the Chamber that in determining such applications the Council legally could only take into consideration the appropriateness of the areas put forward. Both applications were for parish areas which were considered logical and appropriate areas to select in terms of the legislation.

 

Normanby Parish Council’s decision to withdraw from the joint NP meant that it could not continue.  The report recommended that both Neighbourhood Plan applications be approved and confirmation of the joint plan’s withdrawal be publicised on the Council's website.

 

Debate ensued and the Ward Councillor for both parishes addressed the meeting.  He considered the situation both disappointing and frustrating.  A joint plan made perfect sense considering the jointly shared assets across the two communities.  Working together should always be encouraged and usually brought about improved outcomes.  He outlined the work that had been done jointly across the Parishes resulting in a community space and children’s play area.  That being said, he recognised and had to accept the rules of Neighbourhood Planning legislation and reluctantly  moved the recommendation as he considered both parties needed to move past the current difficulties,  He placed on record his sadness that the community had not been heard and that their views were being disregarded.  Parish Councils had a duty to respond to the community wishes , so long as they did not conflict with the law, this had sadly not been the case for these residents.

 

Numerous Councillors spoke in similar vein, expressing concern at the lack of representation, and of the democracy deficit.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Licensing Policy Review - Approval pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Councillor Jessie Milne as Chairman of the Licensing Committee, presented the report to Council and advised that  Section 5 of the Licensing Act 2003 required each Licensing Authority to  prepare, consult on and determine a Statement of Licensing Policy, which  must be kept under review on an ongoing basis and consulted upon and reviewed every 5 years.

 

This five year review had recently been undertaken and Councillor Milne was pleased to present to Council the updated Licensing Policy, approved and recommended to Council for adoption by the Council’s Licensing Committee after consultation with licence holders.

 

The policy aimed at ensuring the effective and safe operation of licensed premises across the District and ensured that they were adhering to a regulatory framework, which had become ever more important over the last 12 months and would enable the Council to continue to deliver its statutory obligations in relation to licensing.

 

Full Council were asked to accept the recommendation from its Licensing Committee and approve the revised policy for implementation.

 

Thanks were expressed to the Licensing and Enforcement Officers for their work throughout the pandemic.

 

Having being moved and seconded it was:-

 

RESOLVED that the recommendationfrom the Licensing Committee be accepted and the Revised Licensing Policy be adopted and approved for implementation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

39.

APPOINTMENTS ON SUB-COMMITTEES, BOARDS AND OTHER BODIES (INCLUDING OUTSIDE BODIES) AND THE RE-ALIGNMENT OF COMMITTEE CHAIRMANSHIPS pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman presented the report to Council which sought to realign a number of previously made appointments on sub-committees, boards and other bodies (including outside bodies). 

 

The report also sought to amend some Committee Chairmanships / Vice Chairmanships, arising from the change in Leadership and at the request of the Administration.

 

Having been moved and seconded it was RESOLVED that:-

 

(a)        the positions which automatically transfer to the new Leader, on taking up Office, as set out in Section 2.1 of the report be noted; namely: -

 

Type of Appointment

Name of Body

 

 

Outside Body

District Councils Network  

Outside Body

East Midlands Council

Outside Body

LGA General Assembly

Outside Body

Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee (full member)

Working Group

Scampton Local Infrastructure Group

 

 

 

(b)        that the persons named in section 3.3 of the report be appointed to the positions stated, namely: -

 

 

Chairman of Corporate Policy and Resources Committee

Councillor Anne Welburn

Vice-Chairman of Corporate Policy and Resources Committee

Councillor Paul Howitt-Cowan

Vice-Chairman of Chief Officer Employment Committee

Councillor Owen Bierley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(c)        that Membership on the APSE National Council (Lincolnshire Representative) be approved as a formal outside body and be aligned to the Office of Leader.