Agenda and minutes

Full Council - Monday, 6th March, 2023 6.30 pm

Public access to this meeting is available via between the hours of 6.15pm – 6.30pm via the main door of the Municipal Buildings on West Street, Boston

Venue: Council Chambers, Municipal Buildings, Boston, PE21 8QR

Contact: Pippa Rose, Democratic Services Officer  Telephone 01205 314224 e-mail  lorraine.bush@boston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

70.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Minutes:

Following amendments made prior to the meeting the minutes of the last meeting of the Council, held 23 January 2023, were taken as read and singed by the Mayor as a correct record.

71.

APOLOGIES

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies of absence were received from Councillors Alan Bell, Martin Howard and Brian Rush

72.

COMMUNICATIONS

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported the following communications;

  • Members were reminded that, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, all votes on the budget and council tax setting reports will be taken as recorded votes.
  • Members were reminded that if they are two months or more in arrears, they must disclose the fact and not vote on any item to set tax or any decision which may affect its calculation.

In accordance with the present arrangements for the selection of Mayor, Councillor Yvonne Stevens has agreed to serve as Mayor for the Municipal year 2023/24, subject to being re-elected in May.

73.

DEPUTATIONS AND PETITIONS

Minutes:

There were none for this meeting

74.

QUESTIONS FROM ELECTED MEMBERS

Minutes:

The Chief Executive announced that there were a number of questions received for the meeting.

 

1.    Question to the Mayor from Councillor Tom Ashton:

“Could you confirm whether you attended the last meeting of the Corporate & Community Committee in your role as the Member for Skirbeck or as The Mayor?”

 

Response from the Mayor:

“I thank Cllr Ashton for notice of his question. I attended the meeting of the Corporate & Community meeting as the elected member for Skirbeck Ward.”

 

There was no supplemental question.

 

2.    Question to the Mayor from Councillor Tom Ashton

“Could you tell me how many prospective candidates for the Boston Independent Group have been received by yourself in the Mayor’s Parlour and the Chamber since 1st November 2022?”

 

Response from The Mayor:

I thank Cllr Ashton for notice of his question. None.”

Supplemental question from Councillor Tom Ashton:

“I am grateful for the answer, but I detect this is only a technically accurate response as it clearly doesn’t cover people who have declared as candidates after being entertained here.

 

Personally I wouldn’t believe for a moment that the trappings of the Mayoralty might ever be used for candidate recruitment, but we do need openness and transparency so that those less sceptical than myself might be sure.

 

So therefore would you share, by email to all Councillors, a full list of who has been entertained in the Parlour or Chamber since 1st November 2022?”

 

Supplemental response from the Mayor:

“Councillor Ashton at the last meeting of Full Council you asked about my different roles and I gave a very thorough response but clearly you were unable to consolidate your learning. During my 40 year career in teaching and local government I was both, full cognisant and full compliant with the boundaries which consisted between work and my personal life. My role as Mayor is no different, in fact anticipating this type of innuendo, I recently had a meeting with the Monitoring Officer to assure him that I was fully acquainted with what is and is not allowed during an election champagne. I have hosted a plethora of different groups in the parlour, that means many Councillor Ashton, before and since 1st November 2022 including but not limited to; the congregation of St Swithers Church from Bicker, I have a Ladies Business Lunch which was great fun, Fishtoft and Old Leake warm hubs came along, a group of Muslim women who taught me more about Islam, the cultural association of the Malayalees, I have hosted local wombles, local teachers, local business people and at least two open meetings which were publicised widely by our comms team and which could be attended by absolutely any member of our community. Each and every gathering is above reproach. Overall it strikes me, you seem to be measuring me against your own standards and that would be very wrong. I have now been a volunteer for Lincolnshire Police for over 8 years, and to qualify for that role,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

Minutes:

The Chief Executive confirmed there were three questions from Members of the public;

 

1.    Question to Councillor Tracey Abbott from Mr Robert Dewars

Why were 2 councillors and leader allowed to bypass the system re the Christmas lights in Boston without consulting the rest of the councillors and what will be done to stop this happening in the future? This ruined any chance the retailers had to take extra revenue during this time as it detracted the general public from making the effort to come into town.

 

Response from Councillor Tracey Abbott

“Last year we received a letter from the Christmas in Boston Group informing us that they would no longer be able to provide the Christmas lights for Boston. As the Portfolio Holder for Town Centre, I worked with the available budget, whilst taking into account the cost of living and the rising cost of energy. We purchased a large decorated and lit tree which was installed in the town centre in readiness for the 24th November Christmas event, which will be able to be used again for future years. I am pleased to report that over the Christmas period, verified footfall data also showed an increase on the previous three years for Boston Town Centre. Compared to December 2019, the total footfall figure in December 2022 was an increase of 12.8%”

 

Supplemental question from Mr Dewars

“I believe when Councillor Abbott was asked the question about where she got the figures for the football she couldn’t answer it, so I don’t know where these figures have come from. Certainly what I saw, there was nowhere near the amount of people there was in previous of years. She never answered the question which was, why were 2 Councillors and leader allowed to bypass the system so none of the rest the Councillors knew about this plastic Christmas tree thing and would have objected to it?”

 

Supplemental response from Councillor Abbott

“Well the leader was never present at any of the meetings, it was not just two Councillors, officers was also involved as well as the Chief Executive.”

 

2.    Question to Councillor Tracey Abbott from Mr Dale Broughton

“Councillor Abbott at the last full council meeting you presented a set of figures apparently showing a 65% increase in footfall in December 2022 on previous years, which you had only received minutes before the meeting.  Can I ask what are the actual figures, not percentages of this increased footfall, how were these figures calculated and was that the same method for measuring used in previous years?”

 

Response from Councillor Tracey Abbott

“December 2019, footfall was 134,008, December 2020, 91,107, 2021, 116,100, this December 22 151,188. BBC utilise HUQ footfall data, which uses mobile phone technology and is independently verified to demonstrate consistency year-on-year since 2019

 

Supplemental question from Mr Dale Broughton

“The figures you have provided your opinion, show Boston in December 22 was busy and a good foot fall, however relying on just on piece of data  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.

76.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

77.

AUDIT AND GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE MINUTES pdf icon PDF 135 KB

(To receive the confirmed minutes of the meeting of the Audit and Governance Committee held on 5December 2022)

Minutes:

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 5 December 2022 be received.

78.

BUDGET & MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY 2023/24 & PAY POLICY pdf icon PDF 277 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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 General Fund Annual Budget for 2022/23 to 2027/28, Capital Programme, Capital Strategy, Treasury Management Strategy, Minimum Revenue Provision Policy and Annual Investment Strategy, Fees and Charges Schedule, Pay Policy Statement and Annual Delivery Plan.

 

The report stated that the Budget was being set within a background of unprecedented inflationary pressures and significant changes in resident, customer and business needs. Despite the challenges the Councils financial position meant that it was well placed and able to take a considered approach to mitigating the exceptional challenges. In addition, the Council had been and continued to be successful in drawing in significant capital and revenue investment for the area.

 

The proposed budget had been through the budget consultation process with the public and Members, the draft budget proposals were subject to review by the Audit and Governance Committee on 30 January 2023 and Corporate and Community on 2 Feb 2023. The Treasury Management Strategy had also been presented to the Audit and Governance Committee on the 30th January and to Cabinet on 22nd February. The report had been updated to reflect the final budget accompanying the report.

 

During Debate the following comments were made:-

  • There was continual uncertainty over the level of the Internal Drainage Board levies. However, representations continue to be made to Government.
  • Officers were congratulated on managing to produce a balanced budget for the upcoming year.
  • Concerns were raised regarding the pay increase agreed for staff, it was felt that the increase was not enough to support staff.
  • Meetings had been held to reassure Members that increases in Council Tax were necessary.
  • Thanks were given to the current and past Finance Portfolio Holders for the position the Council’s budget was in.
  • Members of the public were encouraged to make use of the Council Tax Support Schemes that the Councils offer.

 

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

 

RESOLVED

  1. The Revenue Estimates for the General Fund for 2022/23 (Appendix A)
  2. The Medium Term Financial Strategy (at Appendices A,1 and 2)
  3. The Capital Programme (Appendix A)
  4. The Fees and Charges for 2022/23 (Appendix 4)
  5. The use of Reserves detailed (Appendix 5)
  6. The Treasury Management Strategy, including the Minimum Revenue Provision policy and Investment Strategy (Appendix 6)
  7. The South and East Lincolnshire Council’s Annual Delivery Plan 2022/23 (Appendix 7)

 

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

 

For

Against

Abstain

Cllr Tracey Abbott

Cllr Tom Ashton

Cllr Alison Austin

Cllr Richard Austin

Cllr Peter Bedford

Cllr David Brown

Cllr George Cornah

Cllr Anton Dani

Cllr Anne Dorrian

Cllr Deborah Evans

Cllr Paul Goodale

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 Judith Welbourn

Cllr Nigel Welton

Cllr Stephen Woodliffe

 

 

 

79.

COUNCIL TAX SETTING 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 231 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Jonathan Noble, Portfolio Holder – Finance introduced a report by the Deputy Chief Executive (Corporate Development) setting out the proposed charge to be levied on the Council Taxpayers for the services provided in the Borough.

 

The report stated that formal resolution was 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 a Band D property would pay £208.89, a £6.03 (2.97%) increase on 2022/23.

 

The resolutions incorporated the precept requirement for Boston Borough Council, as well as all other Authorities that issue a precept in the Borough.

 

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

 

Before opening up to debate, the following anomalies were corrected;

  • The Lincolnshire Police and Crime commissioner had an increase of more than £10, it was £15.
  • A chart was included on page 164, this should have shown that Boston Borough Council increase at 2.97% and Lincolnshire County Council increase at 4.99%.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Jonathan Noble, seconded by Councillor Paul Skinner

 

For

Against

Abstain

Cllr Tracey Abbott

Cllr Tom Ashton

Cllr Alison Austin

Cllr Richard Austin

Cllr Peter Bedford

Cllr David Brown

Cllr George Cornah

Cllr Anton Dani

Cllr Anne Dorrian

Cllr Deborah Evans

Cllr Paul Goodale

Cllr Martin Griggs

Cllr Jonathan Noble

Cllr Frank Pickett

Cllr Judith Skinner

Cllr Paul Skinner

Cllr Yvonne Stevens

Cllr Peter Watson

Cllr Judith Welbourn

Cllr Nigel Welton

Cllr Stephen Woodliffe

 

 

 

Formal Council Tax Resolution:

 

Council is recommended to approve the following resolutions:

 

1          It is to be noted that on 14 December 2022 the Council calculated: -

 

(a)       the Council Tax Base 2023/24 for the District as 20,274 (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 2023/24 (excluding Parish precepts) is £4,235,036

 

3          That the following amounts be calculated by the Council for the year 2023/24 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended (the Act): -

 

(a)

£35,006,786

being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council

estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act;

 

 

 

 

 

(b)

£29,474,621

being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act;

 

 

 

 

 

(c)

£5,532,165

being the amount by which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act, as its Council Tax requirement for the year (item R in the formula in Section 31a (4) of the Act);

 

 

 

 

 

(d)

£ 272.87

being the amount at 3(c) divided by the amount at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

SOUTH & EAST LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCILS PARTNERSHIP PERFORMANCE pdf icon PDF 271 KB

(A report by the Assistant Director – Corporate)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Paul Skinner, Leader of the Council, presented the report which set out the further progress of the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership since the previous update on 26th September 2022.

 

The report set out the progress made by the Partnership business case under the headings of:-

  • Annual Delivery Plan 2022/23 – The joint Annual Delivery plan activity was being monitored by the Joint Strategy Board to support the Partnership in delivering on its priorities, as well as sovereign Council ambitions.
  • Performance Framework 2023/24 – The performance measured had been reviewed for 2023/24 and set out in the Framework. It was recommended to continue on the current suite of measures wherever possible to allow the Council to build up trend reporting over time.
  • Peer Review Action Plan – The LGA Peer Review had taken place in October 2022. The Peers’ findings and feedback had been reported to Council in January 2023 and fed into the Partnership’s development plans for 23/24 and beyond. The Peers were to undertake a follow up in mid – 2023 to review progress.
  • Priority Partnership Update – A number of key Partnerships had been established as mechanisms for delivering the strategic priorities for the Partnership
  • Growth and Prosperity Priority Partnership – the Growth Team continued to work with existing partners, but develop new relationships with strategic organisations to continue to not only raise the profile of the SELCP but also to create valuable connections between business, public sector and national organisations.
  • Safer Communities Priority Partnership – following the approval of the South and East Lincolnshire Community Safety Strategy, the sub-region’s Community Safety Partnership had been working on a number of key community safety priorities for South and East Lincolnshire.
  • Enhancing the Living Environment Priority Partnership – the South and East Lincolnshire Climate Action Network (SELCAN) the Environment Priority Partnership met in October and December 2022. During the meetings SELCAN welcomed a new member from Lincoln University who will act as a youth representative, and guest officers from the Council’s Planning Policy Team attended to discuss strategic planning and engagement with the Local Plan Review.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:

That Council:

  • Approve the Annual Delivery Plan (ADP) 2022/23 update
  • Approve the Performance Framework 2023/24
  • Note the Peer Review Action Plan Delivery progress
  • Note the updates from the Priority Partnerships
  • Note the Partnership Security Action Plan Delivery Progress

 

81.

MOTION ON NOTICE

Minutes:

The following Motion was received:

 

1.    This Council resolves to formally thank our fantastic staff for their recent achievements, notably Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation Status and associated funding for the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership and securing the £14.8million necessary to make the Rosegarth.

 

As the seconder to the motion was not present at the meeting it proposed by Councillor Tom Ashton, seconded by Councillor Nigel Welton and

 

RESOLVED:

That the motion be postponed to be considered at the next Full Council meeting.