Venue: Committee Room Municipal Buldings West Street Boston
Contact: Karen Rist, Democratic Services Officer 01205 314226 email: email@example.com
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were tabled by Councillors Patsie Marson and Andy Izard.
To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting.
With the agreement of the committee the Chairman signed the minutes of the previous meeting held on 28th September 2023.
UPDATE ON ACTIONS FROM THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
To report progress on outstanding actions from the minutes of the last meeting, for information only.
No updates from the previous meeting.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.
Councillor Mike Gilbert declared he was a member of Boston Big Local and had been a member at the time when various funding streams and grants had been secured.
Councillor Stephen Woodliffe declared he was a member of the Crime and Police Panel.
Councillor Lina Savickiene declared she was a member of the Boston School of Mosaic
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 Monday 13th November 2023
No Public questions
PUBLIC SPEAKING TIME
To allow members of the public to address the Committee.
No Public Speakers.
A presentation by Lincolnshire Police
Inspector Colin Clarkson of Lincolnshire Police addressed the meeting and advised members he had been in his current role for just over a year, prior to which he held the position of Detective Inspector for Boston. A detailed presentation followed which included the following points of information:
Referencing the situation in the county, members were advised that Lincolnshire was one of the lowest funded police forces in U.K at just 45p per person per day as against the national average of 59p per person per day. Most of the teams in operation were small in number and the previous year had proved to be very challenging not least with the loss of a large number of PCSO’s. (Police Community Support Officers).
Addressing the team in Boston, Inspector Clarkson advised it comprised of PCSO’s, Police Officers, Sergeants and an Inspector, and the team had lost two PCSO’s due to the re-modelling.
Two serious crimes had taken place in the previous year. The first having been Operation Jadeite which was serious disorder and included three incidents of people being attacked and resulted in nineteen juveniles and one adult being identified within three days by a single PCSO. The outcomes of the incident led to ten people being arrested and interviewed and ten interviewed under caution. The key players were identified very quickly. The case was ongoing and under review by the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service).
The second serious incident was Operation Burnt, the unlawful encampment which received 59 calls for service for 21 crimes, with two people being arrested following 13 viable statements by the public. A number of witnesses had unfortunately refused to give statements of evidence and the case was ongoing and under review by the CPS.
Incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) linked to street drinking had reduced by 50% over the previous year, with enforcement by the PSCO’s doubling, with 44 referrals in the previous six months, as against 22 in the whole of the previous year. Plans were also in place to continue working with Trading Standards to implement closure orders on shops.
Operation Plotting which had been presented previously to the committee, was an analytical package which looked at serious crime in Boston Town Centre. It had been re-visited and the criteria had been expanded to allow coverage of the whole of the Borough of Boston. Public opinion of Boston included concerns that it was dangerous and people did not feel safe and were worried about going out at night and in the daytime, with issues of concern about groups loitering and concerns for children being out and about.
Inspector Clarkson acknowledged the perception of fear was very real to the residents of Boston and he was not being dismissive of that perception, it was however unfounded when considering comparative data with other areas in the county. The highest category of crime in Boston was violence against the person at 43% of the total crime: there was no breakdown of the category but most was without injury ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
A report by the Events Manager
The Portfolio Holder presented the report advising that In 2023, the events provision had returned to pre-COVID levels. However, changes in personnel had resulted in the hoped for expansion of the programme not being realised, but the programme of events delivered had been well received and truly appreciated. Previous years had seen a large support from BTAC Members to enable the events team to run a series of successful events and whilst it was anticipated that events would proceed without limitations during the 2024/25 financial year, that position could change.
Option One at a cost of £41.500 and within the annual baseline budget for events, focused on a more limited programme with the Easter Bunny Hunt; 1940’s event; Classic Car show; Celebrate Boston Day, incorporating an International Food Festival; Halloween in the Market Place; Christmas Light switch on, Santa Fun Run and Christmas Market.
The second option would cost BTAC an additional £16,250 for the financial year and was subject to a further £55,250 of external funding. That would provide an enhanced programme of events in addition to the existing community based events. The option aimed to keep all the free kids fun events, which people have enjoyed previously, it also added some of the larger events that have shown a large footfall and benefitted the Town including the Classic Car Show to move to the Central Park along with a Vintage Festival instead of the 1940’s event; the Beach in the Park with full programme; a Boston Big Local Legacy and Music Festival in the Central Park; a Ska and Reggae Festival in partnership with Endeavour Radio; Christmas Light switch on, Illuminate Parade and accompanying events including a Santa Fun Run and Christmas Market.
Boston Big Local (BBL) had been a key supporter of events for Boston residents and its’ funding had enabled additional community based events in previous years. This funding would cease at the end of March 2024, however they were contributing to the Boston Big Local Achievements and Legacy music event in July. The Boston Beach event had also been added to the list of events to be considered by BTAC.
Community events had taken place across the Borough with the support of the Safety Advisory Group. The Events Team also provided advice to external providers on how to run safe events. Potential events for 2024 were Indian Holi Festival in Central Park and Boston’s Strongest (14th July in the Market Place).
Committee deliberation followed which is collated and included:
Overall members voiced their support for the report and the offer of an extended programme of events to include those subject to the external funding.
Concern was questioned the loss of the Boston Bike Night event which members agreed had been very successful and had grown over the years, bringing visitors into the town from far afield. A member suggested that negotiations with those who managed the event should take place, and when setting the budget for the forthcoming year, if financial support from BTAC ... view the full minutes text for item 18.
( Update financial statement by the BTAC Finance Officer)
The Assistant Director for Culture and Leisure advised the update was for members information of the financial position at the current time, prior to receiving the budget at the next scheduled meeting.
Committee noted the report.
A report by the Small Grants Administrator
The Assistant Director for Leisure and Culture presented the report confirming that six applications for funding had been received by the Small Grants Scheme all of which had been approved:
Committee noted the decisions of the Small Grants Group.
The Assistant Director for Leisure and Culture addressed the meeting further. Members were advised that due to a recent lack of availability by the existing members of the Small Grants Group to determine applications, the situation had highlighted the need for a wider scope of members to ensure the submissions were determined in time with the directives of the scheme. As such, committee were asked to agree that for future determination of grants applications, the Small Grants facilitator would circulate the date and time of the proposed meeting of the group to all committee members seeking responses by those available and willing to sit and determine the applications. This would ensure that with the increased number of members included, that the meetings would always be quorate and the applications determined within the requisite time scales.
To ensure that all applications submitted for consideration by the Small Grants Group, all committee members would be invited to attend the scheduled meeting to ensure a quorum of members are available to determine the applications. The Small Grants Administrator to facilitate.
Members noted the work programme.