Venue: Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, PE21 8QR
Contact: Janette Collier, Senior Democratic Services Officer 01205 314227 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting, held on 20th June 2018.
The minutes of the Committee’s last meeting, held on 20th June 2018, were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman, subject to the addition of the names of Councillors Anton Dani and Stephen Raven, who were present at that meeting, and subject to clarification of Councillor Yvonne Stevens’ declaration of interest as a Member of the Small Grants Scheme, which was incorrect (Minute 12 refers).
To receive apologies for absence.
There were apologies for absence from Councillors Stephen Raven and Yvonne Stevens.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.
The Chairman, Councillor Sue Ransome, declared an interest in Item 2, as she was secretary and poppy organiser for the Royal British Legion (RBL) and would take no part in discussion of the second recommendation for the allocation of money towards a scheme requested by the RBL and left the room when that matter was considered.
Councillor Nigel Welton declared an interest in the item on BTAC Assets – Tour of Open Spaces (Minute 26 refers) when debate moved into matters relating to the Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP), by whom he was employed, though not in a decision-making capacity; Councillor Welton took no part in the discussion and left the room for the duration of the debate.
POLICING ISSUES - STANDING ITEM
(Inspector Andy Morrice will be in attendance to discuss any policing issues with Members.)
Inspector Andy Morrice was not in attendance.
BTAC 2018/19 FINANCIAL POSITION UPDATE PDF 101 KB
(For noting – information provided by Paul Julian, Chief Finance Officer)
[The Chairman, Councillor Sue Ransome, declared an interest in this item as secretary and poppy organiser for the Royal British Legion (RBL) and left the room for the debate and vote on the recommendation for the allocation of money towards a scheme requested by the RBL.]
The Chief Finance Officer presented a report, which set out BTAC’s current financial position.
The report included a recommendation to allocate funding from the unspent 2017/18 small grants budget reserve towards a small scheme to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War.
A Member explained that the scheme was for the provision of murals on the sides of the Council’s new, small refuse freighter and circulated illustrations of the proposed murals.
Members discussed the proposal. Some expressed concerns, feeling that putting the murals on a refuse freighter was not an appropriate or sensitive way to commemorate the end of the war and pay tribute to those who had sacrificed their lives. There was a suggestion that another Council vehicle would be preferable and another that a much bigger commemoration should be planned, for example at the war memorial, and involve the migrant communities.
Other Members considered that using a refuse freighter was a very good idea as these vehicles went to every street so the murals would be highly visible and seen by more people.
During debate, the meeting was advised that the scheme had the full backing of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and Poppy Appeal both nationally and locally. A previous scheme to apply graphics to the sides of lorries had been a Transported Arts project and had not been funded by a local authority. Previous schemes had included local scenes and nominated ‘local heroes’.
A Member who had been present at the RBL’s meeting when the scheme had been discussed confirmed that most of those present had been RBL members and there had been unanimous support for the scheme. This alleviated the concerns of most of the Members who had been unsure about the scheme, though there was a request to make the allocation subject to direct confirmation from the RBL itself, which was agreed.
1. That the report be noted.
2. That £360 be allocated towards the provision of murals on the sides of one of the Council’s refuse freighters to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War, to be funded from the unspent 2017/18 small grants budget reserve, subject to confirmation from the Royal British Legion that it is their request.
BTAC ASSETS - PUBLIC CONVENIENCES PDF 172 KB
(A report presented by Martin Potts, Principal Officer - Bereavement/Cleaning)
The Principal Officer - Bereavement/Cleaning presented an update report on matters relating to public conveniences, which Members had requested following their tour of assets on 20th June 2018, to enable them to consider future improvement and development opportunities.
The report set out the provision at each of the three sites, their hours of operation and cleaning, expenditure for each site for responsive and routine maintenance, and the income received from the 20p entry fee.
On the tour, Members discussed broken fittings, instructional signage, vandalism, and the cost of repairs weighted against income. One Member enquired whether it was necessary for the toilets to be locked.
At the Committee’s meeting on 29th November 2017, a number of similar issues had been discussed, and details and costings of the various ways of improving the facilities suggested by Members were to be investigated and reported back to the Committee. However, this had been deferred to later in the year due to lack of capacity.
The Portfolio Holder suggested that the issues identified be referred to a sub-group of the Committee for further consideration and to cost potential proposals for approval at a future BTAC meeting.
During debate, Members’ comments included:
· The cost of repairs was significant and the Committee was responsible for ensuring the facilities were kept up to standard and cost effective.
· It would be useful to have the details of the cost of consumables and to make the public more aware of the cost of vandalism, so people did not begrudge paying the 20p entry fee.
· New Members of BTAC elected in May 2019 might not wish to continue to pay to maintain the facilities.
· The facilities should be kept to the highest standard and officers should be given delegated authority to use up to £20,000 to improve them as quickly as possible.
· The Council was considering closing the facilities at one point, but they were a high priority; Members had a responsibility to older residents and visitors and to families with young children who valued them.
· It was only right to provide the facilities to protect the environment and public health.
· The town was fortunate to have three outlets participating in the Community Toilet Scheme.
· The sub-group could consider the possibility of not charging for the facilities against the savings in terms of officer time spent collecting.
In response to a question, it was explained that the disabled toilets were abused significantly through vandalism and use by rough sleepers, with radar keys being easily obtained on the internet.
RESOLVED: That a BTAC Toilet Improvement Sub Group be established to report back to the Committee at its meeting on 24th October 2018 with a detailed set of options for possible improvements to the facilities and an associated funding mechanism for future costs. [The membership is subject to confirmation.]
UPDATE TO BTAC ON BTAC OPERATIVES' ACTIVITY - JUNE 2018 PDF 115 KB
Details of work requested and action taken.
The Operations Manager presented a detailed list of work requests and action taken by the BTAC operatives for the month of June along with other work carried out and training that the operatives had undertaken.
The Operations Manager reported that the operatives had been very busy. Six work requests had been received through the BTAC enquiries e-mail address – BTAC.email@example.com – a lot of other work had been undertaken and the operatives were now fully trained.
In response to questions, it was explained that training titles were repeated as there had been regular training updates. Separately to the operatives, the Council had a street cleaning team consisting of 7.6 full time equivalents that cleaned the streets every day, concentrating on the main town area and operating less frequently further out in the borough. The street cleaning programme could be more widely publicised, but was currently being reviewed as part of the Transformation Programme; information on this would be reported back to the Committee in due course.
A report of frequent heavy littering in the area between West Street and the rear of the White Hart Hotel would be looked into.
Members commended the work of the operatives and expressed their appreciation of the significant work undertaken.
1. Feed back to the BTAC Operatives, Members’ thanks and appreciation of work carried out.
2. Investigate a report of frequent heavy littering between West Street and the rear of the White Hart Hotel.
3. Circulate the timetable of street cleaning to BTAC Members on completion of the Transformation Programme project to review the street cleaning programme.
BTAC ASSETS - TOUR OF OPEN SPACES PDF 180 KB
(A report by Phil Perry, Head of Place and Space)
[Councillor Nigel Welton declared an interest in this item when debate moved into matters relating to the Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP), by whom he was employed, though not in a decision-making capacity; Councillor Welton took no part in the discussion and left the room for the duration of the debate.]
The Operations Manager presented a report on the BTAC’s public open spaces, as requested by Members following their tour on 20th June 2018.
On the tour, Members had reviewed improvements carried out following the Committee’s decisions at its meeting of 29th November 2017 and identified further development opportunities that could be investigated for delivery in 2018/19 to continue its investment in improving public spaces, subject to the availability of funds. The details were set out in the report.
The areas visited during the tour were Broadfield Lane, Woodville Road, Garfits Lane, St John’s Park, Burgess Pit, Shelton’s Field and Central Park. Members had been pleased with the progress of improvements already carried out, feeling that these had made a significant contribution to improving the quality of those spaces provided in the town, and that the plans discussed for further development would encourage greater more positive use of public open spaces.
It was anticipated that a future report would be submitted to BTAC by the Open Spaces Sub Group to provide cost details in relation to those improvements identified for 2018/19.
In response to questions, it was explained that the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) was part of a section 106 planning obligation, funding for which was to be released imminently.
One of the Members on the Open Spaces Sub Group expressed concern that Fenside ward had not received a fair share of BTAC funding for its play areas. However, others reiterated that Fenside’s play park was in the ownership of the Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP) and that concerns should have been addressed to that organisation; this could be discussed with the Operations Manager after the meeting. There were other play parks in the BTAC area that were similarly in the ownership of the LHP and received no funding from BTAC, but the LHP had been responsive when Members had contacted the organisation about them.
A Member then referred to attempts to improve facilities on the Ingelow Avenue open space, which was in Fenside and was funded by BTAC. It was confirmed that, although the open space had not been visited as part of the tour of assets during the current administration, specific reports on the play area had been considered at BTAC in the last three years. The open space could be included in future tours.
It was then proposed and seconded that the Ward Members for Fenside or a small group of Members including the Ward Members should visit the site and report back to BTAC’s next meeting.
The Member for West Ward reported that the area had no play areas at all and that a site should be identified for this purpose, particularly as more and ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
WORK PROGRAMME - STANDING ITEM PDF 126 KB
(The Committee’s work programme for the current year for discussion and/or updating.)
Members discussed the Committee’s work programme for the remainder of the year and made various suggestions.
Submit a brief report to the next meeting on the existence of town centre maps or cost of new ones and the provision of notice boards to promote BTAC events to be sited in prominent places around the town.
Consider recommencing Ward Walks with Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP).
Action: JC/PP/Councillor Welton
Write to BT regarding the condition of the 3 phone boxes in the town centre with a view to cleaning them up and advising on the possibility of adopting any not in service.