Agenda and minutes

Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC) - Wednesday, 10th August, 2022 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Karen Rist, Democratic Services Officer  01205 314226 email:

No. Item



To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were recorded from Councillors Alan Bell, Anton Dani, Anne Dorrian and Martin Griggs


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To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting.


The Chairman signed the minutes of the previous meeting with the agreement of the committee



To report progress on outstanding actions from the minutes of the last meeting, for information only.


The Assistant Director – Culture and Leisure (and Lead Officer for the committee) advised one update that the request for reporting on the migrant communities, with a potential Task and Finish group review, had been taken to Scrutiny via the Corporate and Community committee and at the meeting on the 14th July.  The committee had agreed to put such a large piece of work into abeyance until after the Borough elections in May 2023 recognising that the scrutiny process currently had two reviews running, alongside scrutiny panels with the alliance, and both member and officers’ resources were stretched.   A review into the migrant communities would be very lengthy and require considerable evidence gathering and it was felt it would be inappropriate to begin such a review towards the end of the year, when the other two had concluded, and then either have to rush it to conclusion ahead of May – or end up with the possibility of having to ‘hand it over’ to new councillors should some or all of those on the group not be re-elected.



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


None tabled.



To answer any written questions received from members of the public no later than 5 p.m. two clear working days prior to the meeting – for this meeting the deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday 5 august 2022.


None tabled



To allow members of the public to address the Committee.


No public representation.



A report by the Deputy Chief Executive - Delivery


The Deputy Chief Executive for Programme Delivery presented the report advising that following a consultation exercise with key members and stakeholders, including Parish Councils, Boston had bid for funding to support the installation of 5 changing places toilets in and around the Town Centre in late Summer 2022.  The sites that were bid for were Central Park. Wide Bargate, Lincoln Lane, The Blenkin Memorial Hall and Boston College.  Four of the five sites has been successful with Boston College failing to meet the criteria due to it being classed as a new build and as such, not eligible. 

However, committee were then advised that there was a question mark over progressing with the Blenkin Memorial site due to it potentially not satisfying the criteria in respect of the size of the facility.  Members were advised that enquiries were being made elsewhere to try and retain the funding and fourth facility.  Discussion would be held in respect of a possible relocation to the Church (St. Botolph’s) and suggestions for alternative sites were welcomed.  Should an alternative site not be found then the funding would need to be handed back, it could not be used for the remaining three facilities.

The funding applications had been heavily over- subscribed and in March of this year, the Government announced that Boston would receive £210k of funding to support the installation of 4 toilets. That compared to a total £660k for the provision of 15 toilets within the South East Lincolnshire partnership and £920k for the whole of Lincolnshire for the provision of 23 toilets.  Latest market testing showed that costs of installation would be approximately £75k per toilet. That meant that the match funding requirement was approximately £23k per toilet.  Blenkin had at that time agreed that they will meet the costs of any additional funding over and above their allocation of £52k, however in light of the update information that position could change.  The additional support required from the Council was around £70k to support the installation of 3 additional toilets.  Members were reminded that should they wish to reduce the number of toilets then the funding would be reduced proportionately.  It was anticipated that most of the revenue running costs could be absorbed within existing budgets as the facilities would be located next to existing toilets and as such, inspection costs could be accommodated within existing staff budgets. The additional costs were likely to be repairs and maintenance, consumables, and annual testing. These were not expected to be significant.  In conclusion, committee were advised it was a good news story for the town enabling those within society who were prohibited from visiting the town due to their need for this type of facility, would be able to visit and support and enjoy the town’s park and other attractions along with the shopping and catering provisions.


Committee deliberation followed which included support of the facilities from most members.  Whilst concern was tabled at the inclusion of a pod within the site at Central  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.



A verbal update on Central Park and other play areas by the BTAC Lead Officer to include reference to Central Park following the committee’s recent site visit.


The Play and Physical Activity Officer present the report, advising committee of the recent site visit which committee had undertaken of BTAC’s play areas, which had concluded with a long visit to the play are within Central Park to consider improvements to the facility.  Examples of new equipment and costings had been provided on the site visit and member were asked to agree a way forward for the upgrading of the site.


Member comments included the poor state of disrepair noted during the site visit and the level of uncleanliness with significant coverage of bird faeces on the ground and equipment.  Referencing the overhanging trees from where most of the faces came from, a member questioned the possible re location of the play area to the far end of the park to provide a brand new facility instead of throwing good money after bad in trying to refurbish the current site.  Whilst the suggestion had been raised on the site visit, the Officer confirmed that having considered it, it would not be possible for a variety of reasons, including the loss of the new area which was already used for large events and the existing site was placed away from the larger children’s activities and was close to the toilets and café for the parents of the younger children.  What could be considered was moving the equipment forward from under the overhanging trees out into the open, with the area behind possibly being turned into a nature area for families.  The trees did not belong to the Council but the Lead Officer advised that the grounds team could be consulted in clearing the debris where possible.

A member suggested that finances needed to be concentrated on flooring for the site with safety grass being used as opposed to hard standing and the existing equipment could be re furbished.  Officers agreed that would be the preferable option but advised it was costly and the current floor levels would need considerable hard engineering to get them to the requisite level and standard.  However, a children’s play area was a critical fall from height risk and others sites visited on the tour had the safety grass aside some of the play installations.

Other comments and concerns noted the current fencing of the site which appeared unwelcoming, issues in respect of cyclists riding through the area on a regular basis, a lack of CCTV coverage and open ongoing acts of anti-social behaviour including urination deterring visitors.  Issues of littering through the park as a whole were noted with broken glass and detritus build ups across the park and rotten seating.  Members did agree that the actual facilities offered by the park had improved significantly and the need for a re- introduction of a wheelchair swing would complement the new toilet provision, giving a greater inclusivity to locals and visitors.



That a Member Working Group be convened to consider the options for re-furbishing the Central Park Play Area and a report be tabled to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.



A report on the work of the BTAC Operatives by the Operations Manager


The Assistant Director – Culture and Leisure presented the short report of photographic evidence of the ongoing work undertaken by the BTAC operatives.

Members all agreed support of the work undertaken and gratitude of the operatives, at the speed with which acts of graffiti and damage where addressed, once they had been reported.

The Chairman confirmed he has requested a report to the November committee meeting, identifying the defined role and responsibilities of BTAC within the town, along with the costs incurred.  The report would clearly show what it was that BTAC was responsible for and by default, identify what the Council was responsible for.  It would provide an evidenced based document for BTAC moving forward and most importantly, clarify any current ‘grey areas’ with Council responsibilities.  He confirmed his rationale for the report was address concerns of BTAC members in respect of the precept of the town residents and how it was spent for their benefit.


Members noted the report.




(The work programme for BTAC for consideration and discussion).


Prior to addressing the schedule of meetings, the Lead Officer referenced a letter addressed to the Chairman (copies were provide on all placements for member and officer reference), received from Christmas in Boston within which, the group advised that they needed to turn down the offer of the £5k which had been offered to support their annual provision of Christmas Lights within the town.  Members were advised that the letter had been due to have been scheduled at the previous meeting which had been inquorate.


The Chairman then invited the Deputy Chief Executive – Growth to address the meeting in respect of the letter received.

The Deputy Chief Executive advised committee that the letter clearly stated that Christmas in Boston did not wish to take the allocation of £5k this year, but had indicated they hoped to submit their own tender for the installation of a Christmas lighting displays, should the opportunity arise.  As such, she wished to offer assurance that something was happening to address the loss of the Christmas lighting displays, confirming that both she and the Portfolio Holder Councilor Welton were looking at alternative funding for the provision of Christmas lighting displays and exploring possible funding through the UK Shared Prosperity Funding stream.  A transparent tendering process would then take place for interested parties wishing to installthe Christmas lighting displays. Boston had been allocated £2.2million for 2022/23 (it was an allocation and not competitive funding) with draw down potentially in October / November or possibly December.  Some match funding would be required to support any draw down. There was a good argument to utilise the UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF) stream with alignment to pride in place and a civic swell of goodwill for the wider borough, supporting the criteria.  For reassurance members were advised that an allocation of the funding was an executive decision through scrutiny. Referencing the Empowering Community funding allocated to BTAC, the Deputy Chief Executive suggested that if BTAC were mindful, that would be one way of making a contribution to the match funding, akin to a Parish Council being allocated UKSPF funds who too would be required to offer match funding for a Parish initiative.


A number of comments were tabled by members, including recognition of their support of the Christmas in Boston group and its constant provision of the Christmas lighting displaysover previous years and acknowledgment of the quality provided and, of the commitment of all the volunteers who enabled the installation of the Christmas lighting displays to take place. 

Other questions and suggestions included having a back-up plan should the £2.2million not be granted, supporting the Christmas in Boston group in any tender submitted and clarification on who would put the lights up.  Concern at future year’s lighting displays was also tabled and clarification sought on the procurement process.

Responding, the Chairman stated that there was no back-up plan as BTAC did not have funding for a £20/£30k tender.  The Deputy Chief Executive reiterated her earlier advice that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.