Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Katie Storr  Senior Democratic and Civic Officer

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Items
No. Item

40.

Register of Attendance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed all present.  A warm welcome was extended to Mr Richard Quirk, Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel, who would later in the meeting present his Panel’s recommendations to 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 J Snee, T Regis and L Clews.

 

41.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 445 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the previous meeting held on 2 November 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)      Minutes of the Meeting of Full Council held on 2 November 2020

 

In connection, to Minute 30, the Leader of the Opposition sought clarification as to the status of the Deputy Leader’s position, given recent information brought to the public attention.

 

The Monitoring Officer, addressed Members advising that the Deputy Leader was appointed by Council and remained a Member of the Administration.  No notifications to the contrary had been received.  These were matters for the Conservative Group and Ruling Administration.

 

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 2 November 2020 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

Acknowledging that an opportunity had been missed due to the virtual nature of the meeting , Councillor John McNeill placed on record his Point of Order, Council Procedure Rule 15.1 – Signing of Minutes – The only part of minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

 

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 of interest were made at this point of the meeting.

 

 

43.

Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 179 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 no comments 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 started his announcements advising that Civic commitments for obvious reasons had been limited, and due to the continuing restrictions many of the face-to-face events he would have had the pleasure of attending, on the run-up to Christmas had sadly not been possible.

 

Due to the wonders of modern day technology and the assistance of the Communications Team, to whom thanks were expressed, the Chairman had been able to contact “virtually” all of those organisations, when in normal times, he would have visited in person.  The Chairman had also had the pleasure in attending his first virtual Carol Service.

 

The Chairman had however had the pleasure and honour to attend at an outdoor service at Scampton church,which had been most moving, joining Councillor Patterson as Ward Member and the Station Commander from RAF Scampton in paying  respect to those who gave their lives in defence of freedom.

 

He also spoke of being delighted at being able to participate in the turf cutting ceremony for West Lindsey’s new depot facility, joined by the Leader, Deputy Leader and the Ward Member.

 

In concluding his announcements, the Chairman paid tribute to Alan Robinson, Monitoring Officer, who would be leaving the authority shortly to take up a new role with South Kesteven District Council.  On congratulating Mr Robinson, the Chairman expressed his personal thanks for the support and guidance Mr Robinson had provided to him during his Office and for the support he provided to all Members.

 

 

Leader

 

The Leader echoed the comments of the Chairman, expressing thanks to Mr Robinson for his support over the years, before making the following address to Council: -

 

“2021 has begun every bit as busy as 2020 ended and it really is a privilege to be involved at a time of such rapid progress and transition.  Although responding to the coronavirus pandemic remains the key priority, Members can be assured that consideration is also being given to understanding and realising the opportunities for our economy, our communities and residents alike to emerge from the current circumstances stronger and more vibrant than ever. 

 

The Lincolnshire Outbreak Engagement Board normally meets fortnightly, bringing Members and Officers from local government together with professionals from NHS organisations and key partners from other front line services to share news, co-ordination and support.  Regular weekly meetings of Lincolnshire’s District Council Leaders and Chief Executives have resumed following the Christmas and New Year break.  Significant progress is also being made on the review of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan.  The first formal public consultation (Regulation 18) is scheduled to begin in June and will include proposed site allocations and significantly strengthened policies in response to the environment and sustainability imperatives.

 

West Lindsey District Council continues to work with the Rural Services Network whose Revitalising Rural campaign (which includes fairer funding) is of such fundamental importance to rural areas.  As Members will be aware, partner organisations including the Local Government Association, the District Councils’ Network and East Midlands Councils currently offer enhanced  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

Public Question Time

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

 

 

 

46.

Questions Pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No. 9 pdf icon PDF 257 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the meeting that two questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No.9 had been submitted to the meeting.  These had been circulated separately to the agenda.

 

The Chairman invited Councillor Anne Welburn, Ward Member for the Cherry Willingham Ward to put her question to the meeting, as follows: -

 

“Leader - The Rural Economy in Lincolnshire needs a comprehensive national-level rural strategy, to be delivered locally via communities, councils, and businesses to ensure that no resident or business should be disadvantaged unreasonably by their rural location.

 

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) provided money for projects to improve agriculture, the environment and rural life. It supported Schemes that improved the environment; increased the productivity of farming and forestry; or which grew the rural economy.

 

I understand that the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) is now closed, because it is a European Fund, part of the 2014-2020 programme and this programme is ending.

 

Please could the Leader advise if there have been any positive developments in this area, is the Government still hoping to deliver a fairer funding scheme for rural areas?  And what funding, if any will replace the RDPE?

 

Thank you”

 

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

 

“Thank you for your question Councillor Welburn

 

You are correct that the RDPE is now closed. However it is has been announced that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will replace the EU funding programme and in the November 2020 Spending Review the Chancellor confirmed ‘The planned fund will target the places most in need across the UK,  including ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities, and “help to level up and create opportunity across the UK for people and places”. 

 

It is expected that this funding will be administered by the Local Enterprise Partnerships, although it is not anticipated to be available until 2022.

 

We are working with the LEP on the Local Industrial Strategy and the Medium Term Recovery Plan and this is where we will articulate our priorities and continue to champion the need for funding and programmes that support rural issues.

 

The draft medium term recovery plan has a priority ‘Rural Heartland’ with the following priorities for action:

 

     Delivering cycling upgrades, along with a targeting marketing programme to ensure Greater Lincolnshire is recognized as a UK centre for cycling.

     Facilitating start-up enterprise locally

     Achieving full coverage of 4G mobile to ensure no 'not spots' remain

     Facilitating start up enterprise

     Identifying the scope for local trading

     Repurposing of existing business spaces and the prospect of local hubs

 

In parallel, the Rural Services Network has included each of these points as central, crucial, ‘asks’ in its’ Revitalising Rural campaign, which is to be officially launched in the next few weeks.  Revitalising Rural arises from RSN’s ‘Time for a Rural Strategy’ call upon Government that we fully supported as a Council.  

 

Please be assured Councillor Welburn the prosperity of rural communities is both  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

Motions Pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No. 10 pdf icon PDF 269 KB

Motion 1

 

Fly Posting

 

“Mr Chairman, recently the Circus visited the town of Gainsborough, and despite the current restrictions had a period of putting on shows.

 

Everyone would expect them to advertise their presence before arrival and display of posters in shops and so on is acceptable.

 

What is not acceptable is the amount of fly posting that was done by the circus, not only to advertise their coming to Gainsborough; but also as they prepared to leave fly posting as to where their next stop would be.

 

The fact is that even if an occasional fly post was put up that would not really be acceptable, but what happened was the circus put up three, four or five posters in one single location. Empty shop fronts were targeted and these posters once put up will over time deteriorate and then become litter, to say nothing of the eye-sore they are in situ.

 

Gainsborough was not the only settlement targeted; other places too had the fly posting and it is not an isolated incident. Other events are known to fly post all over the district. While we want the attractions, they advertise, to come in to the district it is the mess left behind of these fly posts, and where there are multiple posts in one location it causes more and more of an eye sore and eventual litter. Fly posts are rarely if ever taken down after events by those who place them in many locations most of which are not appropriate.

 

The Liberal Democrat Group collectively, and hopefully joined by other members of the council, as we are all affected by this; would like to move that a more robust stance be taken against any fly posting in the district and while accepting there are some current rules and regulations, we would like to see these firstly enforced, as they clearly are not being at the present; and secondly enhanced and made tougher.

 

The Council can put in place local by-laws on such matters as these and we would like to see options to do this with a possible ban on fly posting across the district to be explored and then enacted.

 

The cost of clearing up after these fly posts, which become litter, will be saved and then can be used to bring enforcement of a by-law. Once the knowledge is broadcast, we will substantially reduce this unwarranted and un-necessary wanton street vandalism, for that is what it is.

 

We therefore move the exploration of enforcement of current laws is looked at and further restrictions or a total ban on fly posting across the district is made subject to a local by-law.

 

We so move, collectively as a Liberal Democrat Group.”

 

 

Motion 2

 

Slow Ways Initiative 

“Chairman, The Slow Ways initiative is mapping and promoting walking routes nationally and in the local area, and needs support to? ?create? ?a? ?comprehensive? ?network? ?of walking? ?routes? ?that? ?connect? ?all? ?of? ?Great? ?Britain’s? ?cities? ?and? ?towns? ?as? ?well? ?as? ?thousands  ...  view the full agenda text for item 47.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the meeting that three motions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule No.10 had been submitted to the meeting, these were as set out in the agenda.

 

Councillor David Cotton, on behalf of the Liberal Democrat Group, was invited to put the first motion to the meeting, as follows: -

 

Fly Posting

 

“Mr Chairman, recently the Circus visited the town of Gainsborough, and despite the current restrictions had a period of putting on shows.

 

Everyone would expect them to advertise their presence before arrival and display of posters in shops and so on is acceptable.

 

What is not acceptable is the amount of fly posting that was done by the Circus, not only to advertise their coming to Gainsborough; but also as they prepared to leave fly posting as to where their next stop would be.

 

The fact is that even if an occasional fly post was put up that would not really be acceptable, but what happened was the Circus put up three, four or five posters in one single location. Empty shop fronts were targeted and these posters once put up will over time deteriorate and then become litter, to say nothing of the eye-sore they are in situ.

 

Gainsborough was not the only settlement targeted; other places too had the fly posting and it is not an isolated incident. Other events are known to fly post all over the district. While we want the attractions, they advertise, to come in to the district it is the mess left behind of these fly posts, and where there are multiple posts in one location it causes more and more of an eye sore and eventual litter. Fly posts are rarely if ever taken down after events by those who place them in many locations most of which are not appropriate.

 

The Liberal Democrat Group collectively, and hopefully joined by other Members of the Council, as we are all affected by this; would like to move that a more robust stance be taken against any fly posting in the district and while accepting there are some current rules and regulations, we would like to see these firstly enforced, as they clearly are not being at the present; and secondly enhanced and made tougher.

 

The Council can put in place local by-laws on such matters as these and we would like to see options to do this with a possible ban on fly posting across the district to be explored and then enacted.

 

The cost of clearing up after these fly posts, which become litter, will be saved and then can be used to bring enforcement of a by-law. Once the knowledge is broadcast, we will substantially reduce this unwarranted and unnecessary wanton street vandalism, for that is what it is.

 

We therefore move the exploration of enforcement of current laws is looked at and further restrictions or a total ban on fly posting across the district is made subject to a local by-law.

 

We so move, collectively as a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

Members Allowances for the Civic Year 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 256 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman again welcomed Mr Richard Quirk, Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel to the meeting and invited him to introduce the report.

 

Mr Quirk outlined the process that had been undertaken to produce the recommendations set out in the report.  Consultation had taken place with Members and thanks were expressed to those that had responded, noting the response rate had again been low.

 

Mr Quirk also outlined the factors which had been taken into account, summarised in paragraph 1.2 of the report by the Panel in reaching its recommendations, , namely an increase across the board of 1% to Members’ basic allowance and Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA’s). 

 

This proposal if accepted would increase the Members’ basic allowance to £6212 p.a. for the year 2021/22, and equated to an extra amount of £1.19 per week per Member.

 

The Leader of the Opposition spoke on behalf of his Group Members indicating that they would not support the recommendations given the current situation nationally, the financial hardship being experienced by many and rising job losses.

 

Councillor John McNeill spoke on behalf of the ruling Group and concurred with the comments of the Opposition Group.  The Administration also did not consider it an appropriate time to be raising allowances.

 

It was confirmed that if Members failed to propose and second the recommendations the paper would “fall” and the Scheme would remain unchanged

 

Members thanked Mr Quirk for the work of his Panel and for him having engaged Members in the process.

 

Mr Quirk in turn thanked Members and the Officers of the Council who supported the Remuneration Panel’s work; Alan Robinson, James O’Shaughnessy and Susan Norman.

 

In the absence of a proposer and seconder the recommendations fell.  As a result no changes will be made to the Scheme of Members Allowances and the rates payable will remain the same as those payable under the 2020/21 Scheme.

 

49.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Anne Welburn  as Chairman of the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee, was pleased to present the report to Council which sought approval of the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2021/22.

 

Amendments had been made to the scheme in 2019/20 in anticipation of Universal Credit implementation and no changes had been made in 2020/21.

Data available showed that it had been effective and that the collection rate for Council Tax support claimants last year was almost 78%, an increase of 7.85% on the previous year.  

 

Due to the health and economic impacts Covid-19 had had on the residents of West Lindsey this year and the effective collection rate it was considered appropriate to continue to embed the current scheme with both staff and council tax support claimants for at least a further year taking the scheme through to 2022.

 

This Option, Option 1 within the report had been supported by the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee at their meeting in December 2020 and as such was recommended to Full Council for approval and adoption from 1 April 2021.

 

Councillor Welburn concluded her introduction by moving the recommendation, which was duly seconded.  On being put to the vote it was:-

 

RESOLVED that the Recommendation from the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee be accepted and Option 1 of the report be adopted as the Local Council Tax Support Scheme for West Lindsey District Council for 2021/22.

 

 

50.

Council Tax Base 21-22 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of Council presented the report and advised that the Council was required to set its Council Tax Base and declare an estimate of its Council Tax Surplus which should be taken into account when setting the Council Tax for the following year.

 

The Council Tax Base for the year 2021/22 would be £30,128.37

 

The Council Tax Surplus of £1,089,000 had been calculated in accordance with statutory guidance with West Lindsey District Council’s share being £167,500.  This amount would be  built into the 2021/22 Budget prior to setting the Council Tax.

 

In concluding his presentation the Chairman moved the paper and this was duly seconded.  On being put to the vote it was: -

 

RESOLVED that

 

(a)     the estimated surplus of £167,500 be accepted and  declared as accruing in the Council’s Collection Fund at 31 March 2021 relating to an estimated Council Tax surplus.                                  

 

(b)     the Council uses its element of the Collection Fund surplus/deficit in calculating the level of Council Tax in 2021/22.

 

(c)     that the calculations of the Council’s tax base for 2021/22 as set out in Appendix 1 be approved, and that in accordance with the Local Authorities’ (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1993 (as amended), the tax base for each part of the Authority’s area shall be as set out also in Appendix 1.

 

 

51.

Mid Year Treasury Management Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 851 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Anne Welburn in her capacity as Chairman of the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee, presented the report which sought approval of the Mid Year Treasury Report 2020/21.

 

The report had been  presented to the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting on 5 November, where it had been fully considered and debated.

 

The report complied with all statutory requirements and the Treasury Management Code.

 

There had been no changes to the Treasury Management and Investment Strategy.

 

The report detailed the treasury activity over the period April to September and reflected the impact of the approved Revised Capital Budget for 2020/21, also presented to Corporate Policy and Resources on 5 November 2020.

 

This had resulted in some changes to the Treasury and Prudential Indicators which required the approval of Full Council.

 

It was forecast that the Council would have £14.726m invested by the year end and that external borrowing would be £23m.

 

The Chairman expressed thanks to the Treasury Team who continued to effectively manage the Authority’s cash flows and had recently received a High Assurance rating from the Internal Auditor.

 

Councillor Welburn concluded her presentation by moving the recommendations.

 

In the ensuing debate Members welcomed the inclusion of Executive Summary and commented on its usefulness.

 

Members sought indication as to whether the position had substantially changed since the time of the reports writing.  Some questioned whether the report could have been brought sooner. Whilst the position had remained unchanged the S151 Officer outlined how the downturn in interest rates for some of the Council investments would affect the Council’s projected returns, and how the reduced counter-party list continued to limit options.  The Council would always seek to invest wisely but securing returns on investments was difficult in the current market.

 

Officers outlined the various stages and approvals required prior to presenting the Mid-Year Review to Council and gave assurance that this matter had been progressed at the anticipated rate.

 

In response to further questions, Officers confirmed that the Council’s investments made through its Commercial Property Portfolio continued to perform well and almost as expected returning around 6%.

 

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

 

RESOLVED that the recommendation fromthe Corporate Policy and Resources Committee be accepted and the Mid-Year Treasury Management Report be approved together with the changes to Prudential Indicators as detailed within the report.

 

 

52.

Revised Scheme of Officer Delegation following completion of Senior Management Re-Structure pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor John McNeill, his capacity of Chairman of the Governance Audit Committee introduced the report which recommended a revised Scheme of Officer Delegation for adoption.

 

 The work relating to this report had been undertaken through delegated authority granted by the Governance and Audit Committee, to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee.

 

Members noted that most of the scheme, presented at Appendix 1 of the report, was unchanged from that approved at Annual Council in May 2019.

 

The changes were to re-align delegations to appropriate officers following the changes to the Senior Management structure, in support of the Chief Executive, introduced last year.

 

Council were therefore asked to acknowledge the re-alignment of already approved delegations highlighted in Yellow in the appendix.

 

Given that the Scheme was being fundamentally re-aligned to match the revisions to the Senior Management Structure, the Chairman had considered it opportune and appropriate, in consultation with Officers, and in the absence of Annual Council this civic year, to also bring forward any elements of the Annual Review Report, which affected the Scheme of Officer Delegation. 

 

These amendments, additions, and in some cases, deletions were expressed in red text in Appendix 1 and were made on the recommendation of the Governance and Audit Committee at their meetings on 16th June and 13th October 2020.

 

Council was therefore asked to approve the amendments, shown in red, in the revised Scheme of Officer Delegation presented at Appendix 1 and summarised in Appendix 2, which included rationale for change.

 

Members were advised that the next Annual Review was due to commence in coming weeks and should Members have any areas of concerns this would be best dealt with as part of the next review wherever possible.

 

Councillor McNeill concluded his presentation by moving the recommendations which were duly seconded. On being put to the vote it was : -

 

RESOLVED that

 

(a)     the re-alignment of previously approved duties and responsibilities as detailed in Section 2 of the report, undertaken through delegated powers. (expressed as black / yellow text in Appendix 1) be acknowledged; and

 

(b)     the recommendation from the Governance and Audit Committee be accepted and the amendments detailed in Appendix 2, suggested throughout the 19/20 Annual Review Process, together with those detailed in Section 4 be approved for inclusion in the revised Scheme of Officer Delegation (expressed in red text throughout Appendix 1).

 

 

Note:    Councillor T Davies lost connection during the above item of business and therefore did not take part in vote.