Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual - MS Teams

Contact: James Welbourn  Democratic and Civic Officer


No. Item


Public Participation Period

Up to 15 minutes are allowed for public participation. Participants are restricted to 3 minutes each.

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There was no public participation.


Minutes of Previous Meeting

Held on 29 September 2020.

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The minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2020 were approved as a correct record.


Members Declarations of Interest

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

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There were no declarations of interests.


Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) Annual Review Letter 2019/20 Report pdf icon PDF 747 KB

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Members considered a report on the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) annual review letter for 2019/20.  This review letter covered complaints referred, or decided by the LGSCO in the period 2019/2020.  Highlights included:


·         There had been a decrease in the number of complaints compared to previous years, with 11 cases referred to the LGSCO in the period 2019/2020;


·         15 decisions had been taken by the LGSCO in total, meaning that 4 cases had been carried over from the period 2018/2019.  1 complaint had been upheld, which was in relation to an environmental protection noise complaint.  A recommendation of a BS4142 noise assessment should be carried and payment be made to the complainant.


Following this introduction, Councillors asked questions of officers.  Further information was provided:


·         Although the overall look of the report was pleasing, there were only a limited number of complaints upheld across Council services so it was difficult to produce meaningful analysis;


·         Some complaints did not go to the LGSCO and had different routes to a solution.  For instance, if a parish council took a complaint to the LGSCO, they would not investigate.  Another example would be where a complaint was investigated, but no injustices were found – this would be taken no further.


Different disputes at parish council level may go through the courts system or the standards process;


·         The LGSCO set an average target of 6 months to resolve complaints, but some can take longer than this, depending on the complexity of the complaint.  There had been examples of complaints taking many years to resolve.


The report was duly moved and seconded, and following a vote it was unanimously RESOLVED to:


(1)  Agree that the content of the report regarding the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Annual Review Letter had been satisfactorily scrutinised;


(2)  Be assured that complaint handling procedures were functioning adequately.


Amendment to Section 13a Policy resulting in request for Constitution to be amend pdf icon PDF 244 KB

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Members considered an amendment to the Council Tax Discretionary Hardship (Section 13a) Policy, which if approved would lead to a request for constitutional change.


The report was moved, seconded, and following a vote it was unanimously RESOLVED to RECOMMEND TO FULL COUNCIL that the Constitution be amended as follows:


Section and Page Reference

Change required

page 23 of Part IV of the

Constitution Responsibility for

Functions Appeals Board

The following be


“5. To hear appeals against decisions not to award Section 13 A Council Tax Discretionary Relief”

page 28/29 of Part IV of the

Constitution Responsibility for

Functions Chief Executive

The following be ADDED

“to determine any appeal made against a decision to not award

Section 13 A Council Tax Discretionary Relief. Limits on

Delegation: - following Consultation with the Leader of the Council”.





Member Development Annual Report pdf icon PDF 237 KB

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Members considered a review of Member development for the previous civic year.  The Democratic and Civic Officer introduced the report and highlighted the following points:


·         Member development sessions have had to be cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic.  Virtual options to deliver training had been explored as an alternative;


·         ‘Chairing Skills’ had been the title of the first workshop; feedback was still being received, but so far those that had responded were very satisfied.  There had been some suggestions of improvements, but overall the training was recommended for other Members.


Members then asked questions of officers and also provided comment – further information was provided:


·         Roleplaying for chairing meetings could be useful to Members.  This could include challenging situations and how to deal with them;


·         There were particular accounting methods used in local government – it would be useful to have a short guide to these;


·         Support from the political groups would be appreciated as officers cannot mandate Members to attend training;


·         One way of engaging more Members may be to lay on a single face to face meeting via video, whilst asking them if there was any particular member development they were interested in;


·         Snippets of meetings that had gone well, or had even gone badly would be useful as training materials;


·         It can be awkward for an officer to ask Members what their strengths and weaknesses were, however this was easier at the start of a Member’s term of office.  Giving training to those more senior Members could be something to be looked at by the Member Development Group;


·         Need to bear in mind those that have outside commitments when arranging training.  The training needed to be a mixture of face to face, and online in the future;


·         Ongoing training would be helpful to Members.  There can be a lot of training within the first few weeks of becoming a Councillor, but to some if felt like the training sessions were fewer in number further into the 4 year cycle.




(1)  Accept this report as an accurate reflection of Member Development for 2019/20 and 2020/21 to date; and


(2)  Note the suggestions for future development opportunities, to be considered by the Member Development Group.


Internal Audit Report Quarter 2 20/21 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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Members considered a quarterly update from Assurance Lincolnshire, internal auditors for West Lindsey District Council.


At the time the report was published, there was one report at draft stage, in respect of cyber security.  The final report on this would be due in the third quarter of 2020/2021.  At present, there were four audits in progress.


The profile target had been adjusted to reflect that work would be completed in three quarters of the year rather than four.


There were no outstanding audit actions.


Members then provided comment on the report and asked questions of officers.  Further information was provided:


·         The follow up to the Food Safety, Environmental Protection and Enforcement audit was given high assurance;


·         If an audit was at ‘field work’ stage, this would mean that it was a work in progress;


·         The ICT Cyber Security audit was at draft report stage because it was going through an approval process.  As it was a joint audit with North Kesteven, approval would be sought from both councils.


The report was moved, seconded, and following a vote it was unanimously RESOLVED to agree the content of the report.


Workplan pdf icon PDF 111 KB

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The workplan was noted.