Agenda and minutes

Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC) - Wednesday, 28th March, 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, PE21 8QR

Contact: Janette Collier, Senior Democratic Services Officer  01205 314227 email:  janette.collier@boston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

81.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting, held on 28th February 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 28th February 2018 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

Guests:

Boston Policing Inspector Andy Morrice

Mr Andrew Lovelace and other representatives of the Christmas in Boston community group

 

82.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

The Vice-Chairman declared her roles as Poppy Appeal organiser and secretary of the Royal British Legion in Boston and, although this did not prevent her taking part in consideration of this matter, she decided to abstain from the vote regarding the World War II commemorative events (Minute 86 refers).

83.

PUBLIC SPEAKING TIME

To allow members of the public to address the Committee.

Minutes:

Mr Darron Abbott addressed the Committee regarding the process undertaken by the Christmas in Boston community group leading up to the lighting display in December 2017 from his point of view as the group’s treasurer.

84.

POLICING ISSUES - STANDING ITEM

(Inspector Andy Morrice will be in attendance to discuss any policing issues with Members.)

Minutes:

Inspector Andy Morrice updated Members on the following issues.

 

Recruitment

 

A number of EU nationals and others with second languages would attend the assessment centre on 6th April, primarily for the Boston area.  They were very good candidates and it was hoped Boston would then have a full complement of officers.

 

The campaign for PCSOs had opened that day and, again, it was hoped Boston would have a full complement.

 

In response to a question, it was explained that people could apply to be a PCSO online or by ringing 101 and asking for recruitment.  Posters would be issued soon.

 

Mini-Police

 

The pilots in two schools had been extremely successful and the scheme was to be rolled out to 200 schools, which meant there would be 1,000 mini-police.  One national and one local party would be held each term, one of which would relate to anti-bullying.  Badges cost £1 each, which, in itself, would result in a charitable donation of £6,000.

 

Members commended the Mini-Police.  In response to questions, it was explained that the scheme would run in 9 schools in Boston borough and consideration was being given to filling the gap between involvement for children of 9-11 in the Mini-Police and children aged 14 upwards in the cadets; a junior cadets’ scheme would be considered in due course.  The problem of parking near schools was to be the subject of one of the lesson plans on the Mini-Police curriculum and it was believed the Mini-Police would get the message through to parents. 

 

The Chairman asked Inspector Morrice if he could report back on the achievements of the Mini-Police scheme later in the year. 

 

Street Drinking

 

From 1st January 2018 to date there had been 12 public reports of street drinking, a decrease of 20% from the previous year, possibly due to the week of severe weather.  It was important to remember that the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) did not make it an offence to drink in public; only to refuse to surrender alcohol when asked.

 

During Members’ debate, reference was made to street drinkers agreeing to clear up after themselves; how they were approached and treated made a difference. 

 

Other issues

 

Reference was made to a problem in a particular housing development relating to an increase in crime and attempted crime when street lights were not lit; Inspector Morrice asserted that the crimes had been committed when the lights were on.  Inspector Morrice was not aware of an increase in calls regarding noise nuisance in Red Lion Street, but would look into any reported problem.

 

In response to questions, Inspector Morrice explained that parking on double yellow lines was a matter for the County Council.  The issue of school children cycling in the middle of roads had been picked up.  Cycling on pavements was a big issue that had no simple solution; enforcement was a significant problem.  Cyclists could not cycle in a ‘wanton and furious’ manner, but they were cycling on pavements due to traffic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

CHRISTMAS IN BOSTON pdf icon PDF 757 KB

(Feedback on the Christmas 2017 event, including accounts, presented by representatives of the Christmas in Boston community group)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Executive presented a report on the 2017 Christmas Lights event from the chairman of the Christmas in Boston community group along with a report by the outgoing chairman and the accounts that were required by BTAC to ensure the Committee’s funding had been spent appropriately. 

 

In response to questions, Mr Andrew Lovelace, the group’s new chairman, explained that the installation, maintenance and removal of the Christmas lights had involved a much greater amount of work than originally thought.  The electricians believed they would be able to pay themselves a basic rate; instead, they had ended up out of pocket because they had had to give up paid work and also had to pay others to do some of the work.  For that reason, Mr Lovelace had recorded how much it would have cost altogether if they had had to pay for all the work to be carried out.  Mr Lovelace added that the group had £15,000 worth of lights ready to go up in 2018. 

 

During Members’ debate, appreciation was expressed for all the work carried out by the electricians and all the other volunteers involved.  The group was congratulated on the quality of the event, which, it was hoped, would carry on in future years and continue to improve.  BTAC had given its support to help create an organisation to take the project forward; however, it was suggested there needed to be a robust plan in case the number of volunteers decreased.  It was important to understand the commitment the volunteers had had to make and what was needed going forward.  The 2017 event had demonstrated what could be achieved when the community took ownership and worked as a team. 

 

The Chairman reminded Members that the Committee’s current consideration was the 2017 event and whether its funding had been spent appropriately and there was no doubt that it had been.  BTAC’s 2017 funding had been a one-off grant to enable the community group to get set up and become self-financing.  A report would be considered by Cabinet on 4th April to support the community to deliver future seasonal events.  The Chairman thanked the community group for all their hard work and also thanked the officers who had worked hard behind the scenes.

 

Mr Lovelace responded to a query about the accounts and confirmed that the community group had sufficient support to deliver the Christmas event in 2018.  The group was strong, more shops had become involved, with more likely to do so, and there were a lot of ideas.  If there was no funding forthcoming from the Council, further sponsorship would be sought.  It was viewed as a long-term project and included events such as lighting the War Memorial at Easter. 

86.

BTAC SMALL GRANT SCHEME pdf icon PDF 124 KB

(A report by Maddy Eyre, Local Communities Development Officer and BTAC Grant Administrator)

Minutes:

The Committee received a report by the Local Communities Development Officer & BTAC Grant Administrator, which presented the comments made by the Small Grants Working Group, in accordance with the Committee’s Small Grant Scheme, in respect of applications received for the current round.

 

The Committee was asked to consider the comments made by the Working Group in respect of eligible applications, approving or rejecting each accordingly.  Two applications had been received in Round 3 of the scheme, both of which were eligible.  Eligible applications and supporting documents were available to Members from the BTAC Grant Administrator.

 

The Vice-Chairman, who had chaired the meeting of the Small Grants Working Group, went through the applications.

 

Boston Hanse Group

 

The group had applied for a grant of £600 for the venue hire of Boston Guildhall to run workshops.  The working group considered this application to be eligible on condition that the group provided evidence of targeting BTAC residents specifically and kept a record of all BTAC residents engaging with the project throughout its duration.

 

In response to questions, it was explained that the workshops related to “Boston Unfurled”, which involved sharing culture and heritage, and encouraged pride in the town’s rich history.  Most of the project’s funding was provided by Transported Arts, but it did not cover the hire of the Guildhall, which had been offered at charity rates. 

 

RESOLVED: That a Small Grant of £600 be awarded to Boston Hanse Group for hire of Boston Guildhall as a venue for workshops to be run as part of the project

 

[Councillor Brian Rush left the meeting at 7.37 pm]

 

Boston and South Holland Woodcarvers

 

This application was for a grant of £708.53 to purchase equipment to enable the woodcarvers to carry out their activities.  The working group was satisfied this application met the scheme criteria and suggested it be approved.

 

In response to questions, it was reported that this group had formed in 2016 foster and had trained under a woodcarver in Witham Way Country Park.  It had originally been funded by Transported Arts to foster diversity. 

 

The group was now using a visitor book to evidence that it was reaching BTAC residents and, although it did not contain many signatures yet, the comments that been left in it were very positive.  A copy of the visitor book was available to view. 

 

RESOLVED: That a Small Grant of £708.53 be awarded to Boston and South Holland Woodcarvers to purchase equipment to enable them to carry out their activities

 

A Member commended the work of Transported Arts for its work setting up these and other groups and enabling them to continue on their own. 

 

It was reported that, following the allocation of funds to grant applications, there would be a surplus of £1,385 which the Working Group suggested the Committee consider carrying over to the budget that had been ring-fenced for 1914-1918 commemorative events in 2018/19 to enable forward planning. 

 

The Chairman advised the Committee that the Vice-Chairman had been seconded onto BTAC’s Events Working  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

BTAC 2017/18 FINANCIAL POSITION UPDATE pdf icon PDF 93 KB

(An update provided by Paul Julian, Head of Financial Services)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted a report by the Head of Financial Services, which provided an update on the BTAC financial position, showing the budget for the 2017/18 year, and the projected reserve at the year end.

88.

WORK PROGRAMME - STANDING ITEM pdf icon PDF 133 KB

(The Committee’s work programme for the current year for discussion and/or updating.)

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Chairman’s suggestion that the Committee should hold an annual review each April to consider BTAC’s achievements over the previous 12 months and proposals being taken forward, and that this should be in the form of a presentation by chief officers.  It was further suggested that members of the public be allowed to ask questions about what the Committee had done, in a similar format to town councils, without having to give notice of questions. 

 

With reference to the work of the town centre operatives, Members were urged to consider any areas within their wards that required improvement and it was suggested that it would be useful to hold the Committee’s annual tour of BTAC assets earlier in the year. 

 

RESOLVED that:

1.    That an agenda item be added to April’s agenda to consider an annual review of BTAC’s achievements, to be presented by chief officers, and allow members of the public to ask questions.

2.    That the Committee’s annual tour of BTAC assets be held in June.