Agenda and minutes

Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC) - Thursday, 8th February, 2024 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room Municipal Buildings West Street Boston

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


No. Item



To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies were tabled for Councillors Jyothi Arayambath, Alison Austin, and Sandeep Ghosh. 


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 122 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.



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


No updates tabled.



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


No declarations of interest 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 5th February 2024


No public questions



To allow members of the public to address the Committee.


A member of the public addressed the meeting and referenced the ongoing issues of Fly Tipping around the town and included the following:


They tabled their thanks to the Councils Fly Tipping team on its ongoing efforts in clearing the volume of tips, but questioned what penalties were in place for those who were caught fly tipping, stating that whilst they had reported incidents they were unsure if any action was taken. Further concern was noted that having tried to contact the Council’s Environmental Team to give notification of a further dump of rubbish, there had been no response from the team which they felt was concerning. Questioning the action taken when a culprit was identified, they suggested that those identified be made to join and assist the fly tipping team and clear up their rubbish.


The Leader of the Council (a member of  responded and apologised for the lack of feedback by the Environmental Team and gave assurance that contact would be made with the member of the public following the meeting to address the issue.  Further confirmation was provided that the Council did follow up on all prosecutions through to the Magistrate Court, where to date the Leader felt no cases had been lost by the Council. The Leader stressed that the Council took Fly Tipping very seriously having recently increased the fine for the crime to a maximum under new legislation of £1000 per incident with an early payment reduction available. Furthermore educational packs had been produced by the Portfolio Holder in a number of languages to assist residents new to the area and consideration was also being given to the use of CCTV Cameras in know areas of continual incidents of fly tipping.


The Chairman thanks the member of the public for this comments.



PROPOSED BTAC BUDGET 2024/25 AND FORECAST T0 2028/29 pdf icon PDF 278 KB

  A report by the Deputy Chief Executive Corporate Development (S151)


Additional documents:


The Strategic Finance Manager supported by the Head of Finance presented the report advising that the Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC) was asked to make a recommendation to Cabinet and Council on the precept and Band D Council Tax levy for properties in the BTAC area for the 2024/25 financial year.  This report details the current position and the proposed levy for the Council to approve for 2024/25.

Members were reminded of the context in which this budget has been set. It was at a time of continuing change and significant financial challenge for local government. Those included the ongoing reductions in grant support from the government, the impact of Welfare reform, changes to the mechanism upon which central government support is allocated, and the proposed future moves to full localisation of the business rates regime.

BTAC members have in recent years increased the Council Tax and precept to help make the town a better place, and initiatives have been progressed to fund public conveniences, central park spend, footway lights and open spaces, events and town centre operatives.

The proposed budget included an inflationary increase this year, which included an unallocated sum to enable members to support further measures to improve the town.

The level of Council Tax was a key factor for the Committee when considering its future aspirations.

The impact on Council Taxpayers of the proposed 1.24% increase would be that BTAC’s Band D annual charge would go up by £0.99p, or 2 pence per week. The impact for all bands is shown in the table below, almost 70% of BTAC households are in bands A and B, meaning that their weekly increase, before taking Council Tax Support into account, would be approximately 1 penny in each case.


Questioning and commenting followed which included:


Responding to questions the Strategic Finance Manager advised that:-


  • There had been an over spend for footway lighting for 23/24 due to ongoing prices rises in power supplies, hence the significant increase within the budget. The Council might wish to look at reducing efficiencies in that area by looking at an ‘invest to save’ option for LED lighting, with only a third of the current footway lighting being LED lighting, the remaining two thirds being standard lighting. Members and the Chairman supported such an investigation.
  • BTAC no longer funded a CCTV Operative following its’ initial decision to support an operative for a year. No additional support had been taken forward.
  • The Section 151 Officer recommended that a minimum of £70k be kept in the reserves, the additional £48k identified was on top of the £70k.
  • The governed basic amount of increase was 1.24%, with the BTAC element being 3% or £5 whichever was the greater.  Should the BTAC levy increase the Council levy would decrease. Members were advised that The RBAtook into account the total of the council tax precepts plus Boston Town Area Committee, the table below demonstrated that the annual increase was within the 3% threshold when considering the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


BTAC ASSETS pdf icon PDF 266 KB

A report by the Operations Manager

Additional documents:


The Portfolio Holder presented the report advising it was tabled following the annual tour of assets and sought to gain committee’s priority areas for improvements based on the costs provided within the table. The report further included an itemised list of all BTAC owned public spaces together with site location maps for each ward. Any improvements agreed by the committee would be subject to contract procurement rules and orders will be placed with appropriate providers as soon as practicable.


Significant committee deliberation and questioning followed included:


Members agreed that the tour of assets had highlighted how good the provision of play and open space area was within the town, with the exception of Ingelow Avenue which they recognised was the poorest ward within the town and agreed it had been neglected and needed to be considered as a priority moving forward. Congratulations were tabled to  Councillor Marson for her generosity in both implementing and providing continued support of the football provision on the Ingelow Avenue play area,  which provided a football facility for both disabled and able bodied children.  Referencing the wish list of improvements, it was agreed that in respect of Ingelow Avenue, the larger items would require time to allow funds to be sourced for the improvements, but, the smaller items could be taken forward once costings had been secured and agreed by the committee.  It was agreed that the initial marking up of the pitch and provision of a storage facility would reassure the users of the site of BTAC’s commitment to improve the facility.  A member noted that previous funding in 2018 had been made available for Fenside but had not been fought for, and one of the ward members for the ward advised they had held negotiations with the Council previously but noted at that time the Council had been looking to sell off the site for development.

Referencing the site maps, attention was drawn to West ward, with the ward member stated that there was only one area of open space identified on its site and that was really just a strip of grass next to a layby and did not constitute a play area due to the dangers of its proximity to a highway.  Developers had put in a small play area on one of the developments and, with an additional substantial development expected within the ward, members were urged to agree that developers needed to provide a larger provision of play area within their development sites. The ward was a privileged area but children still needed areas to play in.

Confirming that there was no money set aside or within the budget for the larger items, the Strategic Finance Manager advised that some of the smaller items could be provided within the budget. 


Questioning potential finance streams a number of options were discussed. In response to a query about sourcing funding from the Levelling Up Fund, the Leader of the Council advised members that unfortunately with Government funding, a strict criteria was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.



A report by the Assistant Director for Leisure and Culture

Additional documents:


The Portfolio Holder presented the report and confirmed that at its meeting held on the 27th July 2024, BTAC considered a report in respect of the Green Flag Award.  BTAC further agreed for such a report to come before its meeting scheduled for 8 February 2024, for consideration.

The Green Flag award scheme is a process of external accreditation intended to encourage the delivery of well managed public parks. The Green Flag Award® scheme describes itself as an award that:  ‘Recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world’

The purpose & aims of a Green Flag are to ensure that everybody has access to quality green and other open spaces, irrespective of where they live. To ensure that these spaces are appropriately managed and meet the needs of the communities that they serve.  To establish standards of good management.  To promote and share good practice amongst the green space sector.  To recognise and reward the hard work of managers, staff and volunteers. 

To achieve a Green Flag Award, BTAC would need to demonstrate that it has a clear plan of what it aims to achieve, why, and who it serves.  The judges will expect to see a clear management strategy that both demonstrates that the Park is well maintained, and that there are plans for the future, showing continual improvement.



To apply for an award, an initial site description, contact details and publicity information would need to be supplied along with a management plan and purchase order.  Finance considerations include a £350 registration fee, and costs associated with developing and implementing a 5 year management/investment plan, updated annually.

Whilst there is an administration fee of £350, to register for an Award, there is an expectation that BTAC would need to undertake additional work to meet the criteria and standards set by the Award.  To undertake this work, there will be a requirement for Members, Officers and Partners to initially dedicate time to develop a management plan for the Park.  There will be a further need to develop an annual action plan, which may require further financial resources.

Applications for a Green Flag Award need to be submitted by 31st January annually, with Award winners announced each July


The Assistant Director for Leisure and Culture (Lead Officer for the committee) stressed to members that should they agree to take the item forward, it would mean a large undertaking for members and officers and that a working group of 3 members would be required to facilitate the process to work towards developing a management plan. 


Committee questioning and comment followed which included:


With overall agreement that Central Park was viewed by many as the crown jewel in the town centre, members acknowledged that should the town achieve the status it would provide a more structured view on maintaining park, whilst also providing the town with a key attraction.  Confirmation was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.



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


The Chairman confirmed that an invitation had been issued to Mr Neil Kempster of Chestnut Homes to address the committee with a review and update on the developments within Chestnut Homes sites in the borough.

A further request sought conversations with LCC and the Borough to see what options were available to address the appearance of the town centre, with a view to sourcing grant funding to improve private dwellings. 

Advice was provided that grants had been secured for shop owners to improve their appearance from Healing the High Street Partnership and that a future briefing would be scheduled, to provide members with further update information that would hopefully give them confidence in respect of the town centre moving forward.