i) Chairman of Council
ii) Leader of the Council
iii) Chief Executive
The Chairman addressed Council and advised that October had seen him undertake few Civic engagements, it had, however, been an honour to attend a celebration of the life of the late John Matthews the former Mayor of Market Rasen and a dear friend to many.
The previous week, along with other Civic Leaders from across the County and beyond, the Chairman had attended a dinner hosted by the Station Commander at RAF Scampton.
The Chairman looked forward to increased engagements over the coming month.
Concluding his announcements, the Chairman advised Council that it was regret that he would be losing his Civic Officer, Trudi Hayes. On behalf of both he and his wife Kathryn, the Chairman thanked Trudi for her support and guidance over the past 3 years, which would be greatly missed, wishing her well in her new role, elsewhere within the Authority.
The Leader made the following address to Council: -
“Naturally I’m absolutely delighted that our application to the first round of the Government’s Levelling-Up Fund was successful, with the full amount sought being awarded to us. I am aware of how competitive the process was and how many local authorities submitted proposals and I would like to thank all the Officers involved for putting together such a robust, strong bid. This amount of money will enable us to bring forward transformational change that is sustainable and long-term and that will be of significant benefit to our entire community. West Lindsey made a compelling case for funding on the basis of not only demonstrable need but also deliverability.
The first formal public consultation on the draft Central Lincolnshire Local Plan generated almost 400 responses with a total of 1421 comments made, with at least one on each of the policies. Huge thanks are due to all who took part. Joint Planning Unit Officers are now preparing a draft submission document informed by the representations received. It will be subject to a further public consultation period, which it is hoped will begin in March. Following that the document will be finalised for submission to the Planning Inspectorate. All of the comments received are available to view at: https://central-lincs/inconsultuk/CLLP.Draft.Local.Plan/listRepsonses
In the last financial year no fewer than ninety-one community-led projects were supported through the District Council’s grant schemes to the amount of £92,170.82. For every £1.00 invested from these funds £6.98 was matched or levered in to the benefit of West Lindsey organisations, equating to an overall sum of £643,931.05. A recent audit of the service resulted in a ‘high assurance’ opinion, the highest possible. Complementing this, weekly draws in the West Lindsey Lottery are now well established, supporting voluntary organisations through the acquisition of additional, reliable income. Registered Good Causes are on track to raise £24,679.20 this year!
Finally Chairman, in regard to the coronavirus pandemic, we now face a period of considerable challenge and uncertainty as winter approaches. Infection rates in West Lindsey increased significantly recently and currently exceed the national average, but there are encouraging signs of a reduction. Continued adherence to all official guidance and regular self-testing remain vital tools to help keep one another and our communities safe. Doing the right thing is still the best way to protect our National Health Service. The key messages remain Hands Face, Space and for those eligible, please accept both your booster and ‘flu vaccinations when offered them.”
Members raised concerns at the sound quality within the room, expressing concern that information could not be heard. The Chief Executive urged those speaking to position themselves accordingly, demonstrating how the sound could be distorted.
The Leader, given the sound concerns raised, re-stated his announcements, as set out above, for completeness.
Following on from the Leader, the Chief Executive echoed his comments with regard to Levelling-Up Fund success, thanking everyone involved in producing the successful submission. Special thanks were expressed to Sally Grindrod-Smith, Assistant Director for Planning and Regeneration, for leading the bid on behalf of the Authority.
The Chief Executive advised of his attendance at the SOLACE conference in October and of an invitation he had received and accepted, to speak at an Excellence in Local Government event in September. Both opportunities had enabled the Chief Executive to establish a number of links, which would filter into the work of the Officer cohort over the next few months and would help inform delivery of the Executive Business Plan.
On the 1 October the Chief Executive had attended the Lincolnshire Day event organised by the County Council and the two unitary Councils to the North. It was understood this would become an annual event.
Finally, those Members who have hosted the most recent ward visits were thanked. With only five ward tours outstanding, the Chief Executive expressed his appreciation for the time Members had given to supporting his objective of having been able to visit every ward in West Lindsey.