Agenda item

i)              Chairman of Council

ii)             Leader of the Council

iii)           Chief Executive






The Chairman addressed Council and was pleased to advise that, with the gradual lifting of restrictions, he had been able to carry out some civic duties.


The Chairman had had the opportunity to visit the site of the new memorial garden at Lea Fields Crematorium and had also had the pleasure of presenting a cheque to the children’s hospice, the money had been raised from the kindness of bereaved relatives.


The Chairman had had the honour of raising the red ensign outside the Guildhall to honour our merchant seamen and women who were so vital to our island nation. That same day the Chairman had visited Bransby Home for Horses to witness the remarkable work they undertake with beautiful animals, in many cases, from less than ideal circumstances. The Chairman joked about the friend for the day he had made in Womble a rescued Welsh pony with fancy for mints! He encouraged all Members to visit this amazing place.





The Leader made the following address to Council:-


“Firstly and reflecting on the recent distressing events in Afghanistan, in particular from Kabul airport, may I give an absolute assurance that we, as a Council (and working collectively and collaboratively with partner organisations) will seek to play as full a part as possible in supporting the Afghan Resettlement Scheme.  This has been titled ‘Operation Warm Welcome’.


I’m pleased to report that an application to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government for a substantial part of West Lindsey to be designated as a Rural Area under section 157(1) of the Housing Act 1985, as amended, has been successful.  The principal advantage of this is to help secure the continuing provision of appropriate affordable homes.


It is especially pleasing to report that West Lindsey’s Crematorium and Operational Services teams have each been announced as finalists in the 2021 Annual Service Awards by APSE, the Association for Public Service Excellence.  Almost four hundred nominations were received for the awards this year. Our Crematorium team will be defending in the category they won in 2020.


In July the Housing, Health and Care Delivery Group published an important new document called ‘Lincolnshire Homes for Independence’.  It contains a wealth of data and insight into the fundamentally important role appropriate housing provision, that is homes meeting the needs of individuals and communities, plays in supporting peoples’ lifelong health and well-being.


The consultation on the draft Central Lincolnshire Local Plan closed on Tuesday, 24th August, with huge thanks due to all those who took part in it. A pre-submission plan will now be prepared by the Joint Planning Unit, based on the responses received, ready for a second public consultation next spring, after which the document will be finalised for its Examination in Public.


As colleagues will be aware the Council’s budget consultation for the financial year 2022-23 opened on Monday, 2nd August and will run until 9.00 am on Monday, 27th September.  I’m really pleased that we are able to have in person conversations again this year, through attendance at the District’s markets and believe that can only increase engagement in this important process.     


Finally Chairman, in regard to the Coronavirus pandemic, we now face a period of considerable challenge and uncertainty as autumn approaches.  Continued adherence to all official guidance and regular self-testing remain vital tools to help keep one another and our communities safe.  Continuing to do the right things is also the best way to protect our National Health Service.” 


With the permission of the Chairman, the Leader of the Opposition posed two questions to the Leader.  Firstly seeking an update on the street lighting motion, submitted to the last Council meeting and secondly, when Councillors would be permitted to return to the Chamber for their Full Council Meetings, outlining his concerns regarding suitability of the alternative venues, the costs involved and the impact on the ability to hold appropriate Group Meetings.


Regarding the first matter the Chairman determined, the opportunity to raise that had passed, given it had been in the Matters Arising report earlier in the meeting when no questions had been raised.


Regarding the latter, the Chairman whilst acknowledging, current working arrangements were not ideal, and in the absence of absolute guidance from the Government regarding workplaces, he indicated he was confident the Chief Executive would make decisions appropriately and in the interest of all.


The Leader of the Opposition expressed his disappointment and the lack of willingness from the Administration to provide an update regarding street lighting motion, passed by the Council, and which was important to many residents.  He commented on the noticeable absence of any media coverage regarding the motion, surmised at the reasons for this, and spoke of opportunities missed by the Leader.


The Chairman interjected and advised that he would request the Leader to respond in writing, but that Leader’s announcements were concluded and not for debate.



Chief Executive


The Chief Executive addressed Council and advised he had attended at both the LGA and CIPFA virtual conferences.  There had also been opportunity to continue Ward visits with Members, visiting the Wards of Lea, Saxilby, Bardney, Nettleham and Sudbrooke. It was intended at the conclusion of the ward visits, to informally feedback, learning gained from the visits, to each Ward Member. 


The Chief Executive was pleased to advise that Rachael Hughes had been appointed to the role of Head of Strategy and Policy.  Interviews would be held shortly for two reporting roles, which included a dedicated officer to lead the Sustainable Environment Strategy.


Reference was made to the ongoing consultation with Members regarding the frequency of the current weekly Chief Executive’s message. Members were encouraged to feedback through the voting mechanism circulated to them recently. 


The Budget consultation events had commenced.  The S151 Officer would be in the Gainsborough Market Place, the following day, Market Rasen the following Tuesday and Caistor that Saturday and the 18th of the month.  Members were encouraged to visit the stalls, get involved and promote the events within their communities.


Again with the permission of the Chairman, the Leader of the Opposition posed the same questions, to him as Head of Paid Service, as he had to the Leader of the Council.  Seeking an understanding of why there had been no communications issued following the passing of the street light motion.


In responding, the Chief Executive advised that it had not been custom and practice of this Council to issue communications arising from Motions submitted under Rule No.10 unless that motion specifically instructed communication and promotion as part of its content.


The response was challenged, with the Chairman interjecting and reminding Councillor Young that he had previously been advised the Leader would respond in writing, bringing announcements to an end.