Venue: Council Chamber, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston PE21 8QR
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To sign the minutes of the previous Full Council meeting.
The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 27 June 2022 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, George Cornah, Anton Dani, Martin Howard, Judith Skinner, Paul Skinner and Chelcei Trafford and the Chief Executive.
To receive communications (if any) form the Mayor and the Chief Executive.
The Deputy Chief Executive reported that the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership had been successful at the Local Government Chronicle Awards held on 20 July 2022, being announced as the winner of the Public / Public Partnership category.
Judges commented that despite it being a relatively new partnership, they were impressed by the ability to demonstrate tangible improvements to local communities with a clearly articulated ambition for the future. The significant work that had gone into getting the partnership to this stage was also acknowledged.
DEPUTATIONS AND PETITIONS
To receive deputations or petitions (if any) pursuant to Rules 12 and 23 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure.
The Deputy Chief Executive reported there were no deputations or petitions.
QUESTIONS FROM ELECTED MEMBERS
To answer questions (if any) from elected members pursuant to Rule 11 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure
The Deputy Chief Executive reported there was one question from Councillor Peter Bedford and three questions from Councillor Stephen Woodliffe.
Question asked by Councillor Peter Bedford pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-
Could the finance portfolio holder please answer a question which has been banded around on Facebook about Boston Borough Council giving discounted business rates to European Shops Trading in Boston.
Response by Councillor Jonathan Noble
Whilst being unable to comment on the Facebook posts as copies haven’t been provided, this response provides general information on the rate relief available to retail businesses.
The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief scheme, which is administered by local authorities on behalf of central government, provides up to 50% relief for eligible businesses, up to a cash limit of £110,000 per business. This is a temporary scheme, and as such the government has not changed legislation but funds local authorities to use their discretionary powers to administer a local scheme in line with guidance. In the Boston Borough Council area, 278 businesses are currently in receipt of this relief.
Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) of up to 100% is also available where the businesses property and ratepayer meet qualifying criteria. Eligible businesses can get the retail discount alongside SBRR where they get less than 100% SBRR.
Rate relief schemes are open to all eligible businesses that meet scheme criteria.
Supplemental question asked by Councillor Bedford pursuant to paragraph 11.6 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-
The answer doesn’t get to the bottom of the problem. The article on Facebook raised concerns and made Members and the Council look pathetic, to which I took exception and promised to raise the question at Council. Do you agree the matter needs an urgent scrutiny meeting to ask questions in depth and receive evidence that nobody is getting preferential treatment.
Response by Councillor Noble
The key point is in the last sentence of my response, the scheme is open to all, there is no differential between EU and UK businesses. I will raise your request with the Leader.
Questions asked by Councillor Stephen Woodliffe pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-
1. With reference to the properties owned by Boston Borough Council, when agreeing a tenancy does the Borough include a clause in the agreement that no sub-letting may occur without the prior agreement of the Borough Council?
Response by Councillor Jonathan Noble:
I thank Councillor Woodliffe for notification of his question.
When agreeing any lease, licence or other form of property letting, ‘sub-letting’ is a normal clause that is included; limits on sub-letting are case specific; where the concept of sub-letting is acceptable in the negotiation phase, it would be normal to caveat the resulting clause with ‘subject to written consent from the landlord’; in other cases, for example where a Tenancy at Will were an appropriate form of agreement, sub-letting may be explicitly ... view the full minutes text for item 25.
QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
To answer questions (if any) from members of the public pursuant to Rule 10 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure
The Deputy Chief Executive reported there was a question from Mr. Darron Abbott. However, as Mr. Abbott was not present at the meeting the question would not be asked. A copy of the question and response had been circulated to Members for information.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive declarations by Members of any interests in respect of items on the agenda
(Report by the Deputy Chief Executive – Growth)
Councillor Nigel Welton introduced a report by the Deputy Chief Executive – Growth setting out the UK Shared Prosperity Fund draft submission, the background on the consultation process, and seeking views of Full Council prior to decision by Cabinet on 27 July 2022.
The report stated that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) had opened to provide funding for economic development across the whole of the UK. The focus of the fund was in part the replacement for the previous European Social Fund, with an emphasis on skills based training and development, but was wider and more flexible than its EU forerunners.
The South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership (SELCP) had been allocated £9.3 million over the next three years. The fund was a key part in the government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda, providing money for councils to invest in:
Full details of the theme objectives were set out in the UKSPF Prospectus document and replicated in the report.
The breakdown of funding between the SELCP was:-
It was noted that the funding element for the people and skills theme would not commence until 2023. The funding may be spent on activities or buildings and equipment, but was predominantly for revenue projects and there was a suggested split between revenue and capital each year.
The Investment Plan, appended to the report, was a strategy document that detailed how the allocation of the funding would deliver outcomes for people under the three themes set out above.
In considering which projects would be selected to be funded through UKSPF, the Prospectus had been clear that there must have been significant public consultation to ensure the investment plan met the needs of the community and stakeholders to fully maximise the benefits of the fund.
Consultation was held in June and July 2022 and numerous stakeholders were identified and encouraged to submit ideas and share further. There had also been many engagement events held with the public and Councillors.
The Corporate and Community Committee had considered the UKSPF at its meeting on 14 July and were supportive of the plan. The report to Council was for consultation purposes and comments from the meeting would be reported to Cabinet on 27 July 2022.
It was noted there had been a very positive response to the consultation which had been used to form the basis of the investment strategy.
The Draft Investment Plan, attached as an appendix to the report, set out:-
· Local Challenges for each theme
· Local Opportunities for each theme
· What outcomes were to be delivered for each theme
· Approach to delivery and governance
· Examples of some ideas from the consultation responses (for indicative purposes only)
· Examples of collaboration
· Capacity and capability
It was proposed that 6-8 lead bodies would be identified through a competitive process to manage the projects. This would commence once ... view the full minutes text for item 28.