Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - The Guildhall. View directions

Contact: Ele Snow  Senior Democratic and Civic Officer


No. Item


Public Participation

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 pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Prosperous Communities Committee held on 21 September 2022

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A Member of the Committee highlighted that the membership details of the Prosperous Communities Committee had not been updated following the meeting of Full Council on 5 September 2022 and, as such, the minutes did not reflect a true record of the Prosperous Communities Committee meeting on 21 September 2022. It was requested that this be amended and corrected, with assurance provided that this would be the case.


Having been moved and seconded, it was therefore


RESOLVED that, subject to the above amendments being made to the membership and attendance record, the minutes of the meeting of the Prosperous Communities Committee, held on 21 September 2022, be confirmed as a correct record, with the corrected version to be signed at the next meeting.




Matters Arising Schedule pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Setting out current position of previously agreed actions as at 24 October 2022

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



Members' Declarations of Interest

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

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There were no declarations of interest at this point in the meeting.


Progress and Delivery Quarter Two (22/23) - including Performance Improvement Plans pdf icon PDF 123 KB

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The Committee gave consideration to a report from the Change, Project and Performance Officer in relation to the Progress and Delivery report for quarter two of 2022/2023. It was explained that the report set out the performance across the council for the period of July to September 2022. The report also saw the introduction of the performance improvement plan, which provided further context and the extra level of assurance requested previously by Members, as to why measures within services were reporting as underperforming, with the plans showing what was being done in direct response to this. It was highlighted that this was a positive step forward in terms of Council performance management and would continue to provide the positive response needed to the challenges faced within some services.


It was highlighted that the Change, Project and Performance Officer would work collectively with the Service Leads and Directors to complete the performance improvement plan, with the more detailed plan then being managed at service level with oversight by the Senior Management Team, including clear links to the objectives of both teams and individuals. The plan included measures where performance had remained below target for two consecutive quarters or more. Additional information was then provided by the Team Manager as to the reasons relating to the measure reporting below target, the impact this had, the actions in place to improve performance and when it would be expected to see the improvement following the action.


The Officer explained she would explain the overview of Council performance, and the improvement plan elements, in the order in which the report was written.


Members were advised that overall performance was looking very positive. Over 78% of all measures were either exceeding or within agreed tolerance of their targets, compared with 68.4% in quarter one. Similarly, services with measures exceeding target for two consecutive quarters or more had increased from 76% in quarter one to 83% in quarter two.


There were six measures which featured in the improvement plan this quarter: four in operational and commercial services, one in homes and communities and one in finance business and property services.


The first two measures were corporate health measures, the first being the average time taken to pay invoices. This measure had been identified as one to be reviewed within the 2023/24 measure and target setting which would commence shortly. The intention being that the target be amended to keep in line with the council’s contractual standard payment terms, meaning that the measure, whilst reporting as underperforming, was in fact not underperforming in terms of contractual payment terms.


The second of the corporate health measures was overall customer satisfaction which had been attributed in part to the major service change with the introduction of the purple lidded bins. It was anticipated this would now improve and was supported by the T24 programme reviews.


Members heard that the measure relating to the average number of calendar days from receipt of a completed Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) application  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.


Corporate Enforcement Policy pdf icon PDF 568 KB

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The Committee heard from the Housing and Environmental Enforcement Manager in relation to the updated Corporate Enforcement Policy. It was explained that the Corporate Enforcement Policy was last updated in 2018 and whilst there was no requirement for this policy to be reviewed within a certain time period, it was necessary to ensure the policy reflected any legislative or policy changes. It was also good practice to bring the updated policy to the Committee in order for amendments to be accepted.


Members were provided with a summary of the background to the document, with it explained that the Council carried out a wide range of regulatory roles in meeting its many statutory duties of protecting the public, individuals and the environment. The policy was an overarching policy that applied to all of the services within the Council that have regulatory type duties. In some service areas, these enforcement duties had specific guidance and regulations, which set out the requirements for enforcement within that specific area. It was recognised that fair and effective enforcement was essential and Members were assured that the Council was committed to being consistent, fair and proportionate its approach to these matters. A clear policy ensured that all those who lived in, worked in and visited the district were able to have a clear understanding of what could be expected in regards to an enforcement matter.


With regard to individual work areas having separate specific policies that provided more details in regards to approach they took on specific subjects, it was noted that those policies were not included within this document, but were informed by it and referred to it. It would be these policies that could be more flexible for Councillors as they dealt with more local specific issues. There were currently local policies for Licensing, Public Protection, Housing Standards, Planning Enforcement and Food and Health and Safety. Further strategies and policies relating to envirocrime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) were also being scheduled for development.


Members thanked the Housing and Environmental Enforcement Manager for a thorough and detailed report and supported the work undertaken by his teams. Members enquired as to the details of evidential vs public interest test in terms of taking action. It was explained that in receiving complaints, mostly of an anonymous nature, there needed to be the evidence in place that there was an area of concern and that, in approaching the enforcement of resolving an issue, there needed to be greater public interest in resolving the issue. An example of using this test was given of flytipping, whereby the costs of taking a prosecution through the court system needed to be balanced with the less costly method of issuing a fixed penalty notice.


A Member of the Committee raised a specific enquiry as to how matters were dealt with if there was one individual suffering, for example through noise complaints. Members were assured that the individual needs of the complainant were always taken into consideration, in terms of harm  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Climate, Environment and Sustainability Annual Update pdf icon PDF 581 KB

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The Committee heard from Councillor Stephen Bunney, in his role of Member of the Council’s Environment and Sustainability Working Group. He provided a comprehensive summary of the report, detailing the almost £1.5 million of Government funding received to retrofit homes across West Lindsey and improve energy efficiency for residents most in need, as well as outlining similar efforts to secure money to upgrade Council buildings. He explained the green theme was very much woven into in the ‘Levelling up’ work and the Economic Recovery Strategy. Councillor Bunney highlighted that it was fundamental that everything undertaken as a Council provided balance between supporting and promoting jobs, growth and the future prosperity of the district, against tackling climate change. He noted that the task ahead was substantial and not without challenges, however, the report provided a summary of activity undertaken within the last year, highlighting some of the successes already achieved, and setting the scene for activity for the coming year. This was the first report of its type, setting the scene, and it would evolve and become more sophisticated as the work streams develop and became firmly rooted in the Council’s business. 


The Chairman thanked Councillor Bunney for his introduction and invited comments from the Committee. Members of the Committee were welcoming of the work undertaken, however, a Member of the Committee raised concerns regarding the energy efficient homes grants, stating that he had found it confusing and difficult to engage with. He explained the agencies he had contacted had not been aware of the West Lindsey schemes and the process would prove off-putting for applicants. He praised the opportunity, but expressed his concerns that it would not achieve what was intended. Officers took note of the feedback provided and explained the Council was working within Government framework, meaning the application process was as guided nationwide.


Members of the Committee enquired as to options for electric fleet vehicles as well as the role played by developers across the district in terms of building energy efficient homes, rather than seeking to retrofit after the fact. It was explained that the rural nature of the district raised issues regarding the electrification of refuse vehicles, however there were options for other fleet vehicles. In terms of the Planning laws, it was highlighted that the review of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan was already pushing the boundaries of what was expected nationally, which, if passed, would see houses in Lincolnshire being built as net zero carbon.


There were lengthy discussions regarding options open to home owners, such as the use of solar panels, ground source heat pumps, alternatives to boilers and the use of gas. A Member of the Committee sought greater assurance that the West Lindsey District Council website could become a source of trusted information for residents, providing details of schemes available, factual information on alternative heat sources, rather than using an internet search engine and finding only adverts from providers. Officers recognised the need for impartial information and publicising options to residents.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Jubilee Impact Report and Closure of the Working Group pdf icon PDF 251 KB

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The Vice-Chairman, in his role as Chairman of the Platinum Jubilee Member Working Group, introduced the next report regarding the success of Platinum Jubilee celebrations across the district, and seeking to formally close the Member Working group. It was explained that the report had been delayed from the meeting in September, owing to the sad news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was highlighted that the Council had been supportive of local communities arranging their own celebrations, as well as assisting groups and communities to access funding through the Platinum Jubilee Grant Funding scheme. This had proved to be both anecdotally successful, from comments made by Councillors and members of the public, and evidentially successful given the level of positive interaction demonstrated across many social media platforms.


Members of the Committee offered their own success stories of celebrations in their areas, and supported the approach taken by the Council to publicise and support community events, rather than planning one large district event. The weekend of the Jubilee celebrations had been widely seen as a wonderful district and nationwide event.


In light of the confirmed date for the Coronation of King Charles III, it was enquired as to whether there would be a similar working group for any coronation celebrations. It was confirmed that whilst there would be no specific working group, Officers would be involved in similar district-wide communications and publicising of events and suchlike, rather than organising a Council event. Members would be welcome to make contact with Officers with any events they were aware of.


Having been moved, seconded, and with reiteration from the Chairman on behalf of the Committee regarding the success of the weekend events and thanks to all involved, it was unanimously




a)    the contents of the report regarding activities undertaken for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee be received by Members; and


b)    the Platinum Jubilee Member Working Group be formally closed.


Proposed Fees and Charges 2023/2024 - including Christmas Parking pdf icon PDF 354 KB

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The Committee gave consideration to a report detailing the proposed fees and charges for 2023/24, including parking charges for Christmas events in Gainsborough and Market Rasen. The Chairman highlighted a number of appendices relating to the item that contained commercially sensitive information and reminded Members that should they wish to discuss those appendices, the Committee would need to enter closed session.


Note:              Councillor J. Oliver left the Chamber at 8:12pm


The Business Support Team Leader explained that the report detailed the proposed fees and charges to be implemented from 1 April 2023, for services within this committee, contained within the report at Appendices A and B. Additionally, the appendices which provided service specific detail around performance and demand were included within the report at appendices 1 to 16.


Consideration had been given to total cost recovery, benchmarking data, and team manager knowledge of the market when proposing fees. The budget implications included in the report reflected both the impact of proposed amendments to fees, and the forecast demand.


Members heard it was proposed to apply the inflation rate of 6% (which was less than half the level of current inflation). This reflected the impact of the current year pay award on service provision, with employee costs and officer time being the main cost driver for many of the proposed fees, whilst ensuring services remained accessible to all residents given the current cost of living crisis.


This approach also reflected the feedback from the budget consultation event where the majority of respondents felt that a cap less than inflation should be applied for 23/24, followed by a year where inflationary costs were fully reflected in the fees and charges review.


Inflation had been added to the majority of non-statutory fees in order to achieve total cost recovery, except where fees had already been approved for 23/24 (such as green waste collections), or to ensure charges remained comparable to benchmarking data across the sector (as with the crematorium with an average increase of 3.2%).


Those services where no increase had been proposed were:


  • Car parks
  • Markets, 
  • Bulky waste, and the
  • Trinity arts centre for theatre hire


There were two service areas where the income budgets had been amended to reflect updated business plans which had been presented to committee earlier in the year, these were:


  • The Crematorium and,
  • Markets
  • Car parking permit demand had also fallen and it was proposed to reduce the income budget to reflect this. This reduction would be considered as part of the budget setting process for 23/24 but was included here to highlight that there was an expected pressure on income in this area.


The net impact of the F&C review for this Committee was an increase in income of £6,100 in 23/24, rising to £55,100 in 27/28. The significant increase in 27/28 was due to the forecast demand for planning fee applications in that year.


Note:              Councillor J. Oliver returned to the Chamber at 8:15pm


There were no new fees proposed in this report,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.


Workplan pdf icon PDF 214 KB

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With no comments, questions, or requirement for a vote, the Work Plan was DULY NOTED.