Agenda and minutes

Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC) - Thursday, 9th February, 2023 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Romm Municipal Buildings West Street Boston

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

No. Item



To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were tabled by Councillors Neill Hastie, Brian Rush and Yvonne Stevens.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 110 KB

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 15 December 2022.



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


None tabled.



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 Monday 6th February 2023


None tabled.



To allow members of the public to address the Committee.


No representation received.


Prior to moving into part 2 of the agenda the Chairman welcomed Councillor Bell back to the committee



A report by the Strategic Finance Manager


The Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture, and Lead Officer for the committee advised members that the report had been requested to provide a more in-depth analysis of the component parts of BTAC enabling members to see a clear account of the financial responsibilities of BTAC.


Member deliberation followed which included:


Addressing the costs identified for the former public toilets on London Road, latterly known as the Community Shed, a member asked if the facility was still used, and if so, who by.

The Chairman confirmed that the facility was used and did receive an income from the Boston Central Neighbourhood Action Group (BCNAG) and the Witham East Neighbourhood Action Group (WENAG) who primarily used it for storage of their equipment used for maintenance.

On questioning the event budget a member asked what part of the budget was spent on the performing rights licence.  The strategic finance Manager advised that the cost for the licence would be forwarded following the meeting.

Referencing the grounds contract a member questioned the high cost asking if it was an internal or external contractor, stating they felt the charges to be very high solely for cutting grass.  The member asked if there would be an opportunity to reduce the costs once the existing contract expired.  In response, the member was advised that BTAC had no control over the charges nor any negotiation of the contract which was in-house and charged by the Borough Council. 

Reference was also made at the contract costs for the public conveniences which also questioned the re charge for St. Johns Depot and also the cost which appeared to be high indicating that all the operatives did was to clean the toilets. In response, members were advised that the St. Johns re charge was due to the facilities on the site for the drivers and also the staff on the site.  The charges were solely for toilet cleaning which also included the toilets within the Stump.



That the report be included onto the annual work programme to be tabled



PROPOSED BTAC BUDGET 2023 - 24 AND FORECAST TO 2027 - 28 pdf icon PDF 187 KB

A report by the Assistant Director - Finance

Additional documents:


The Assistant-Director Finance presented the report as part of the Council’s budget setting.

Committee were advised that the proposed budget for 2023/24 identified within appendix 1 provided the detailed budget lines for the functions that were contained with the BTAC remit

The proposed increase for band D charge of £3.02 3.95% (band A- £2.01) was the maximum permissible (within referendum principles (£5 or 3% whichever is greater) – composite calculation with BBC)

That would result in a rise to a band D charge of £79.38 (previously £76.36) a weekly charge of £1.52, and a band A would be £52.92 (£50.90) meaning £1.02 per week. 

Overall that increase would provide a small amount (£13k) for new initiatives

Table 1 detailed the impact on budget if the increase was between 0% – 1%, however, such proposals would not generate enough income to cover costs and the balance would need to be met from the BTAC reserves.

To Balance the budget a 2.2% (increase of £1.67) – revised band D of £78.03 (£1.50).   Band A - £52.02 - £1.00 per week.

The Budget was due to be considered by Cabinet on 22nd February and Council 6th March which would be the formal budget setting agreement.

The reserve balances were forecasted to be £254,875 at 31st March 2023 with no current planned future use.  The recommended minimum level of reserves was £70k, (table 3.1)


Committee deliberation followed which included:


The Chairman noted that whilst he appreciated that members would be reluctant to agree any significant increase, he was very mindful that anything less than the 2.2% would result in an impact on BTAC reserves and that moving forward such losses would not be recouped.  Based on the existing and future commitments of BTAC moving forward, the Chairman moved that a 3.95% increase in the BTAC precept.

A number of members agreed the Chairman’s proposal, noting that BTAC already had significant commitments which they felt would only increase over the forthcoming years. Taking into consideration the various reductions available for residents who were means tested, with certain residents only ending up paying an extra 13p, members acknowledged that residents on lower incomes who would be subjected to the various reductions, resided predominantly within Band A properties and were on the lowest precept.

A member questioned the reasoning behind tabling the assumptions for the forthcoming years asking if the committee would be committed to such increases.  The Assistant Director – Finance confirmed that the figures were only an indication of what increases would be achieved by such an increase and BTAC were not committee to them.  They were purely an indication and for information purposes only. 

Noting the cost of the locking of the Central Park gates a member questioned the significant rise in charge but was advised it was for a year, with the smaller charge referred to being for only a six month period at that point in time.

Voicing concern at the proposed level of increase, a member stressed that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 112.



Standing Item.


Referencing the final meeting of the year on the 23rd March 2023 members were reminded that the meeting would be held in Purdah.


Items confirmed were the Small Grants Scheme for ratification and then an update on the working of the BTAC operatives.


A request was tabled for an updated financial statement at the time of the last meeting.