Venue: Jakemans Community Stadium, Pilgrims Way, Wyberton, Boston PE21 7NE
Contact: Lorraine Bush, Democratic Services Manager Telephone 01205 314224 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 27 September 2021 were taken as read and signed by the Mayor as a correct record.
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Alan Bell, Katie Chalmers, Viven Edge, Neill Hastie, Judith Skinner and Paul Skinner.
The Chief Executive reported on the recent sad passing of Shaun Lewis from the Council’s Car Park Enforcement Team and expressed condolences on behalf of the Council to his family, friends and colleagues.
DEPUTATIONS AND PETITIONS
The Chief Executive reported there were no deputations or petitions.
QUESTIONS FROM ELECTED MEMBERS
The Chief Executive reported there were no questions from elected members.
QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
The Chief Executive reported there was a question from Mr. Darron Abbott.
Question asked by Mr. Darron Abbott pursuant to paragraph 10 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-
“At every local election I can remember the promise of being open and accountable has appeared on Conservative leaflet. Is this a commitment made by the candidate alone if elected or is it extended to making a promise that the whole Council will become open and accountable and to whom is this promise made?”
Response by Councillor Nigel Welton
“Thank you for your question Mr Abbott, yes indeed openness and accountability whether on a leaflet or not is something that I am sure every candidate aspires to.
Once elected all members are bound by the current code of conduct which is based on the Seven Principles of Public Life, also known as the Nolan Principles.
I am sure you are aware of these principles which is available on the .gov website and our councillors code of conduct is accessible on our website.
If you wish, I can send you links to both, but for clarity the seven principles are:-
· Honesty and
I hope this provides some insight and answers your question.”
Supplemental question asked by Mr. Abbott pursuant to paragraph 10.8 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-
“You received my supplementary question at 2 p.m. this afternoon so should be able to answer.
So do we put this into practice all of the way through this Council.
There is a requirement to publish details of the contract register, after checking this morning the final entry is 18/19 Q4, this was brought to the attention of the relevant portfolio holder earlier this year, nothing done.
The deal with Garfit’s park for a local football club to have exclusive use of the facilities for a rent of £1,500 per year. The agreement that was never passed over to the finance department to raise an invoice for the rent that was never paid. Then the Council officers deliberately gave misleading information twice in Freedom of Information request before being honest in the third attempt regarding this arrangement. The continual fly tipping in the park by one person and despite assurances by Christian Allen the blind eye continued to be turned.
We had the Asda/Tesco Fly tipping fiasco with lots of strange deals that has now been covered over and all forgotten about apart from the Portfolio Holder that lost their position in the cabinet because of the mess. I understood that the new contracts were to be agreed and signed by the end of November but has still yet to be approved by Cabinet.
Then more confusion and misleading information in a freedom of information request about £2000 paid out of a budget that does not exist. This contradicting information given to a portfolio holder by an officer.
The cover up of events last week which I am sure ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Tom Ashton declared an interest in the reports on the agenda relating to the Joint Scrutiny of the Strategic Alliance and the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership on the grounds of being an elected member of East Lindsey District Council. Councillor Ashton confirmed that he would consider the matters as a member of Boston Borough Council only.
(To receive the confirmed minutes of the meetings of the Audit and Governance Committee held on 24 May and 20 September 2021)
It was moved by Councillor Peter Watson, seconded by Councillor Anton Dani and
(Report by the Scrutiny Officer)
Councillor Stephen Woodliffe, Chairman of the Corporate and Community Committee, introduced a report by the Scrutiny Officer on a review of the Strategic Alliance undertaken by a Joint Scrutiny Panel of members from both authorities.
The review focused on four key areas of:
The Panel met on three occasions, interviewed six witnesses and conducted a survey of BBC and ELDC Councillors to canvass their views. The results of the survey were attached at Appendix D of the report.
The report of the Joint Scrutiny Panel was set out in Appendix A of the report and contained eleven recommendations arising from the Panel’s considerations:-
The report had been considered at the meeting of the Corporate and Community Committee held on 4 November 2021, and referred to full Council.
Members welcomed the positive report, but raised some concerns regarding questionnaire responses ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
(Report by the Assistant Director – Economic Growth)
Portfolio Holder: Councillor Richard Austin
Councillor Richard Austin, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, introduced a report by the Assistant Director – Economic Growth, on the proposal to submit an application for Boston to receive City Status as part of a competition launched to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
The report stated that the Council was working with partner organisations to form a bid for City Status. Other towns know to be intending to apply included Bangor, Irvine, Merthyr Tydfil, Oban, Guildford, Warrington, Newport, Reading, Dudley, Swindon, Medway, Wrexham and Middlesbrough. Although it carried no special rights, the status of city was considered to be a marker of prestige and conferred local pride.
The application for city status supported the priorities in the Corporate Strategy by raising the profile of Boston as a place to live, visit and invest in, supported the town Investment Plan (Town Deal), bolstered the growth objectives as a regional sub-centre of the County, championing skills development and learning, supporting businesses, promoting trade and inward investment opportunities and equipping Boston and its centre for the future.
There were five parts to the application process, which included a summary, an introduction highlighting why the area deserved city status, a profile of the area to incorporate statistics, up to 50 photographs of permanent features and a detailed map of the area showing the main tourism, leisure and entertainment sites, green spaces accessible to the public and main transport routes.
Full details of the focus and strength of the proposed application was set out in section 2 of the report, which had been created by an internal working group, and considered at meetings of Group Leaders, Boston Town Deal Board, Stakeholder engagement event, and Cabinet on 20 October which had supported the application for city status.
In order for the application to be submitted within the deadline of 8 December 2021, it was proposed to grant delegated authority to the Deputy Chief Executive – Growth, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder, to approve and submit the bid on behalf of the Council.
Members expressed their overall support for submitting the City Status application, recognising the benefits that it could bring to the area by promoting the history and heritage, its worldwide connections and increase investment opportunities for economic growth. However, it was also recognised that the application if successful would need to be supported by action and investment.
Clarification was sought as to why the Council was not applying for Royal Borough status rather than city status as it was suggested this would be of greater significance and attract more visitors. In response it was noted that guidance had been sought on the option for Royal Borough status, but since 1926 the entitlement had been strictly enforced.
It was moved by Councillor Richard Austin, seconded by Councillor Nigel Welton and
(Report by the Joint Strategic Advisor)
APPENDIX D CONTAINS EXEMPT INFORMATION
Portfolio Holder: Councillor Paul Skinner
The Strategic Advisor introduced a report setting out the progress of the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership (SELCP) since the approval of the business case by the partner authorities in July / August 2021, and seeking consideration of a series of recommendations to support and enable the successful achievement of the Set Up stage for the strategic partnership.
The report stated that the business case for the SELCP had identified and established four stages for building the partnership, namely:-
The progress of the Setting the Foundations stage, as identified by key deliverables in the approved business plan, was set out in Table 1 of the report.
The next phase was to move to the Set-Up stage to maintain the successful momentum and ensure the Partnership could positively impact on the lives of all communities with South and East Lincolnshire.
The report was divided into sections to provide information and background in support of the recommendations relating to the Set-Up stage under the following headings:-
The Strategic Advisor provided context and narrative to the recommendations when introducing the report.
Members debated the paper before them, highlighting concerns regarding the low ranking of the area in respect of education, skills and training identified in Appendix B Performance Framework, and the need to invest in education. The lack of information in the proposed performance framework was questioned and it was noted that the document would be fully populated once the work programme set out in Appendix A had been agreed.
Discussion moved to Appendix D of the report, which had been restricted from publication, therefore it was moved by Councillor Nigel Welton, seconded by Councillor Martin Griggs and
The Strategic Advisor provided an update on the consultation with affected staff on the proposed single terms and conditions, including pay structure, for the Shared Corporate Management Team and progress on the recruitment process for the vacant post of Deputy Chief Executive– Communities.
Council was accepting of the proposals recognising that to recruit and retain high calibre professional officers with the required skills, knowledge and experience it was necessary to offer an attractive remuneration package. However, equalising the pay for all employees across the authorities should be taken forward as a priority.
It was moved by Councillor Nigel Welton, seconded by Councillor Martin Griggs and
It was moved by Councillor Nigel Welton, seconded by Councillor Jonathan Noble ... view the full minutes text for item 11.