Agenda and minutes

Full Council - Monday, 7th March, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: To be confirmed

Contact: Lorraine Bush, Democratic Services Manager  Telephone 01205 314224 e-mail

No. Item


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 191 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 22 November 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 Peter Bedford, Alan Bell, George Cornah, Viven Edge and Chelcei Trafford




The Chief Executive reported that the Motion on Notice set out on the agenda for the meeting had been withdrawn.


The Chief Executive reminded Members that, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, all votes on the budget and council tax setting reports would be taken as recorded votes.


The Chief Executive announced that that, in accordance with present arrangements for the selection of Mayor, Councillor Anne Dorrian had agreed to serve as Mayor for the municipal year 2022/23.


The Chief Executive reported a change in the Membership of the Planning Committee, with Councillor Frank Pickett replacing Councillor Chelcei Trafford.





The Chief Executive reported there were no deputations or petitions.






The Chief Executive reported there were three questions from Councillor Tom Ashton and one question from Councillor Brian Rush.


Question asked by Councillor Tom Ashton pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-


Over the last few months, having had the honour of serving as Deputy Mayor and supporting the Mayor in representing our Borough, it has occurred to me that there may be occasions where the Deputy Mayor is called upon to represent the Mayor on occasions where the Mayor would ordinarily be expected to be robed.


Keen as I am to leave my mark on any role I am privileged to take on, I have resolved to ensure that future Deputy Mayors shall have a robe appropriate for the ancient dignity of our Borough, by purchasing a robe which I believe to be suitable for the purpose.


On behalf of the Borough Council, will you accept my donation of this robe and hatfor the use of my successors as occasion requires?


Response by Councillor Nigel Welton:-


Thank you Councillor Ashton for your question and kind offer, on behalf Boston Borough Council I would like to thank you for you generosity. To put this into context we have in the past obtained quotes for a Deputy Mayors robe which was £1765 for a robe and a further £500 for a hat, you can imagine my response. So thank you Councillor Ashton your donation will be a welcome addition to the civic attire.


Supplemental question asked by Councillor Ashton pursuant to paragraph 11.6 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-


Thank you Councillor Welton. In this Platinum Jubilee Year, would you agree in principle that all the Councillors of a Chartered Borough such as Boston should be appropriately robed on principal civic occasions?


Response by Councillor Welton:-


I agree with Councillor Ashton, the cost of providing robes is £1300 per robe, this amounts to £36,400, I don’t believe that this would be a popular use of public money at this time.



Question asked by Councillor Tom Ashton pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-


Appreciating that this building is a fantastic asset for our town, and it has been a privilege to use it over recent months, I am however concerned that we are neglecting to use buildings which the Council owns, and meeting at a location which is remote from town.


Could you tell me what it costs to hold Council and Committee Meetings at Boston United Football Club (Jakemans Statium)?


Response by Councillor Nigel Welton:-


The charges for the hire of this venue depend on which room is used and the timing and length of the meeting.  The average cost for a meeting of Full Council is £100.



Question asked by Councillor Tom Ashton pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-


 For all the years I have been familiar with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.




The Chief Executive reported there were no questions from the public.








(To receive the confirmed minutes of the meeting of the Audit and Governance Committee held on 8 November 2021)


Additional documents:


It was moved by Councillor Peter Watson, seconded by Councillor Anton Dani and



RESOLVED that the confirmed minutes of the meeting of the Audit and Governance Committee held on 8 November 2021 be received.





(Report by the Deputy Chief Executive Corporate Development and s151 Officer)


Additional documents:


Councillor Jonathan Noble, Portfolio Holder for Finance, introduced a report by the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Development) and S151 Officer, setting out the Council’s proposed Revenue and Capital Budgets for 2022/23 and onwards, the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to 2026/27 and associated financial documentation for approval, including the Treasury Management Strategy and the setting of fees and charges.


The report stated that the draft Local Government Settlement announced on 16 December 2021 had been finalised and provided additional detail of continuing and additional one off support to councils, including confirmation of allocations of Revenue Support Grant, Rural Services Delivery Grant and New Homes Bonus (NHB).


An additional one year allocation of New homes Bonus would be received for 2022/23 due to delays in implementing a replacement scheme, however this was likely to be for one year only with no further legacy payments expected in future years.  Some NHB (£414,000) was supporting the base in 2022/23 and plans would need to be taken forward to address the situation for future years, depending on what future schemes emerged.


A Fair Funding Review had been expected to set new baseline funding allocations for all local authorities, to simplify the existing system and to provide an up to date assessment of authorities relative needs and resources.  Early consultation had been undertaken by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, but there was insufficient information to date for informed estimates to be made.  It was likely that any changes would be transitioned to mitigate the immediate impact on authorities (positive or negative).  The proposed budget assumed no financial changes from the review and when details became available Members would be updated.


As part of its response to Government in response to the settlement, the Council had made further representations regarding the Drainage Board Levy.  In particular its impact on the Councils ability to make use of the Council Tax that it raised through housing number increases and annual Council Tax rises to support services, rather than offset the annual levy charge increase.


The key elements of the final 2022/23 Budget and MTFS were summarised in the report and set out in detail in the appendices attached to the report.


  • The 2022/23 revenue and capital estimates for the General Fund (Appendix A)
  • The Medium Term Financial Strategy for the General Fund (Appendix A)
  • A scheduled of movements in Council reserves (Appendix 5)
  • General Fund Capital Programme (Appendix A)
  • Treasury Management Strategy (Appendix 6)
  • Proposed Fees and Charges for 2022/23 (Appendix 4)
  • Treasury Management Strategy, MRP Policy and Annual Investment Plan 2022/23 (Appendix 6)
  • The South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership Annual Delivery Plan 2022/23 (Appendix 7)


Key assumptions made within the current 5 year MTFS included:-


  • An annual increase in Council Tax of £4.95;
  • Maximising income generation through investment and growth and looking at new opportunities into the medium term;
  • Allowance for unavoidable growth on services (i.e. new statutory obligations and pay and contractual inflation) but no allowance for any increase in general inflation;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.


COUNCIL TAX SETTING 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 230 KB

(Report by the Deputy Chief Executive Corporate Development and s151 Officer)


Additional documents:


Councillor Jonathan Noble introduced a report by the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Development) and Section 151 Officer setting out the proposed charge to be levied on the Council Taxpayers for the services provided in the Borough.


The report stated that formal resolutions were required to set the Council Tax in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended).  The formal resolutions were detailed at Appendix A, proposing that the Band D council tax should be set at £202.86 for 2022/23, a £4.95 (2.50%) increase on 2021/22 levels.


The precept requirements for the Boston Town Area Committee, Parish Councils, Lincolnshire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner were set out in the report.


It was commented that the method of funding Internal Drainage Boards as part of the Borough Council’s element of Council Tax was confusing for residents as they would assume that the Council received all of the funds raised.  The financing for IDBs should be centralised from Government and lobbying should be continued to raise the issue.


The Portfolio Holder concluded that the amount of increase proposed was sensible and proportionate, and information would be circulated with the Council Tax Bills to highlight that of every £10 of council tax collected the Borough Council received just 48p.


It was moved by Councillor Jonathan Noble, seconded by Councillor Paul Skinner and



RESOLVED that the formal Council Tax resolutions for 2022/23 as set out in Appendix A and summarised at section 4.1 of the report and reproduced below, be approved.



In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 the vote was taken as a recorded vote:


For                                                      Against                                  Abstain


            Cllr Tracey Abbott                            Cllr Neill Hastie                     Cllr Paul Goodale

            Cllr Tom Ashton                               Cllr Martin Howard

            Cllr Alison Austin                             Cllr Brian Rush

            Cllr Richard Austin                          Cllr Judy Welbourn

            Cllr David Brown                             

            Cllr Katie Chalmers

            Cllr Michael Cooper

            Cllr Anton Dani

            Cllr Anne Dorrian

            Cllr Deborah Evans

            Cllr Martin Griggs

            Cllr Jonathan Noble

            Cllr Frank Pickett

            Cllr Judith Skinner

            Cllr Paul Skinner

            Cllr Aaron Spencer

            Cllr Yvonne Stevens

            Cllr Peter Watson

            Cllr Nigel Welton

            Cllr Stephen Woodliffe




Council is recommended to approve the following resolutions:


1          It is to be noted that on 16 December 2021 the Council calculated: -


(a)       the Council Tax Base 2022/23 for the District as 20,051 (item T in the formula in section 31B(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended) and;


(b)       Dwellings in those parts of the district to which a Parish precept relates as shown in Appendix B


2.         Calculate that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2022/23 (excluding Parish precepts and Boston Special Expenses) is £4,067,547


3          That the following amounts be calculated by the Council for the year 2022/23 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended (the Act): -






being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council

estimates for the items set out in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.



(Report by the Deputy Chief Executive Corporate Development and s151 Officer)


Additional documents:


Councillor Paul Skinner introduced a report by the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Development) and Section 151 Officer, setting out the Council’s Pay Policy Statement for 2022/23.


The report stated that under Section 30 of the Localism Act 2011, a pay policy statement was required to be produced annually, and must set out the authorities policies for a financial year relating to:-


  • The remuneration of Chief Officers
  • The remuneration of the lowest paid employees
  • The relationship between the Chief Officers remuneration and that of other officers.


The Pay Policy Statement for 2022/23 was attached at Appendix A of the report and included details of the South and East Lincolnshire Council Partnership and the remuneration information of Chief Officers shared across the partnership, including those not directly employed by the Council.


The policy once approved must be published on the Council’s website as close to 31 March as possible.


It was moved by Councillor Paul Skinner, seconded by Councillor Nigel Welton and



RESOLVED that the Pay Policy Statement 2022/23 as set out at Appendix A be approved.





(Report by the Deputy Chief Executive Corporate Development and s151 Officer)


Additional documents:


Councillor Jonathan Noble introduced a report by the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Development) and Section 151 Officer, setting out arrangements for the appointment of external auditors.


The report stated that at its meeting on 21 November 2016 the Council had opted into the ‘appointing person’ national auditor appointment arrangements established by Public Sector Audit Appointment Limited (PSAA) for the period covering the accounts for 2018/19 to 2022/23.


Under the Local Government Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Council was required to appoint an auditor to audit its accounts for each financial year.  Three options were available to the Council:-


  • To appoint its own auditor, which required it to follow the procedure set out in the Act;
  • To act jointly with other authorities to procure an auditor following the procedures in the Act;
  • To opt into the national auditor appointment scheme administered by a body designated by the Secretary of State as the ‘appointing person’.  The body currently designated for the role was PSAA.


PSAA was undertaking a procurement for the next appointing period, covering audits for 2023/24 to 2027/28.  All local government bodies needed to make important decisions about their external audit arrangements from 2023/24 and the report concluded that the sector wide procurement conducted by PSAA would produce better outcomes and would be less burdensome for the Council than a procurement undertaken locally as:-

·         collective procurement reduced costs for the sector and for individual authorities compared to a multiplicity of smaller local procurements;

·         if it did not use the national appointment arrangements, the Council would need to establish its own auditor panel with an independent chair and independent members to oversee a local auditor procurement and ongoing management of an audit contract;

·         it was the best opportunity to secure the appointment of a qualified, registered auditor - there were only nine accredited local audit firms, and a local procurement would be drawing from the same limited supply of auditor resources as PSAA’s national procurement; and

·         supporting the sector-led body offered the best way of to ensuring there was a continuing and sustainable public audit market into the medium and long term.


The national opt-in scheme, as recommended, provided the following benefits:

·         the appointment of a suitably qualified audit firm to conduct audits for each of the five financial years commencing 1 April 2023;

·         appointing the same auditor to other opted-in bodies that were involved in formal collaboration or joint working initiatives to the extent this was possible with other constraints;

·         managing the procurement process to ensure both quality and price criteria were satisfied. PSAA had sought views from the sector to help inform its detailed procurement strategy;

·         ensuring suitable independence of the auditors from the bodies they audited and managing any potential conflicts as they arose during the appointment period;

·         minimising the scheme management costs and returning any surpluses to scheme members;

·         consulting with authorities on auditor appointments, giving the Council the opportunity to influence which auditor was appointed;

·         consulting with authorities on the scale of audit fees and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.