Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny - Corporate & Community Committee - Thursday, 20th July, 2023 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston PE21 8QR

Contact: Karen Rist, Democratic Services Officer  Tel. no: 01205 314226 email:


No. Item



To receive apologies for absence and notification of substitutes (if any).


Apologies were tabled for Councillor Patsie Marson with Councillor Lina Savickiene substituting and further apologies were tabled for Councillors Chris Mountain and Helen Staples.



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To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting.


With the agreed amendment to table Cllr Evans apologies to the last meeting the Chairman signed the minutes of the previous meeting.



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


None 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 17th July 2023


No questions



A report by the Group Manager – Communications and Engagement.

Additional documents:


The Portfolio Holder presented the report confirming that when the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership was formed in October 2021, the Partnership Business Case had identified opportunities to bring together strategy, policy and services across the three Councils, which had the aim of improving services, achieving savings and ensuring resilience.

One of the first service reviews to be concluded was for the ‘Corporate’ Directorate, and that included the creation of a single Partnership Communications Service. Whilst working together informally since the Partnership formed, the team formally came together as single service in November 2022, creating the opportunity to fully align the communications approach. In the 2023/24 Annual Delivery Plan, approved by Council in March, it was identified that a single Partnership Communications Strategy would be brought forward for consideration to provide a framework for how the Partnership communicates with internal and external audiences going forward.  The report tabled the Strategy for input through the scrutiny process.

The Strategy was shaped on the CORE purpose communications model:
Change behaviour.

Operational effectiveness of Council services,

Reputation management

Explaining policies.

and it covered the four primary communications disciplines of Strategic Communications, External Communications, Internal Communications and Media Management.

The Portfolio Holder drew members’ attention to their future media training needs and confirmed that members could request specific training and bespoke sessions would be convened. The strategy was a public facing document which would be on the website for public viewing and it would be subject to monthly evaluation reports. It was also the intent to work alongside the Partnerships Insights and Transformation team to conduct an annual residents’ satisfaction survey which would be benchmarked against the LGA Standards.  Moving forward it was intended to include the team in the decision making process and for them to be consulted from the inception of a project to help to shape how it would be represented.  Furthermore, members needed to be aware of the importance of seeking briefing notes from the team, in advance of any media interview they intended to undertake.  The team were working informally and had proved as much when the late Queen Elizabeth died and with the speed of media coverage it meant they were on call 24/7 for the Council at that time, for its civic responsibilities in place at such an event.


Committee deliberation followed which included:


Committee praised the quality of the Strategy and the fact that it was a forward facing document which would be evaluated monthly. There was agreement to the suggestion that the Councils’ media plan be circulated to all members for their information.  A suggestion was made that all press releases be issued to all members as some may have experience of the subject matter, but it was noted that it would not be practical with the number of members involved and also the sensitivity of timing issues.  However, members were encouraged to contact the team direct to offer their support when they had either significant experience of something on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.



A report by the Head of Procurement and Contracts.

Additional documents:


The Portfolio Holder presented the report confirming that in March 2023, Council had approved its Annual Delivery Plan 23/24, which included a specific action to bring forward a Procurement Strategy for adoption.  That had also been a key strand of the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership Business Case, recognising that through joint procurement the Councils could deliver significant savings.

The Strategy was particularly important at the current time, given the scale of projects the Council has underway through the Towns’ Fund and Levelling Up Agendas; and the associated joint procurement opportunities with its partner Councils.  The combined spend of the Partnership Councils on capital projects in the coming years would be in excess of £100million.

The purpose of this report was to present to the Committee the Procurement Strategy for the period 2023 – 2026. The Council had not had a Procurement Strategy in place for a number of years. By having this strategy formally in place, it provided a clear strategy for Procurement throughout the following 3 years. In April 2023, it had been formerly approved that the Procurement & Contracts service would be provided by Public Sector Partnership Services Limited (PSPSL). It had also been agreed within the SELCP Annual Delivery Plan.  As part of that, a review noted that there was currently no Procurement Strategy in place.

The proposed Strategy focused on three key themes, being “Showing Leadership “Behaving Commercially”, and “Achieving Community Benefits”. The proposed Procurement Strategy also linked in with the National Procurement Strategy that was reviewed in 2022.

As part of the newly formed PSPS Procurement & Contracts service, a review of all organisations spend data and Contracts Register would be undertaken, to identify any opportunities for collaborative procurement. The strategy to improve this would seek collaborative procurement opportunities between the three client Councils which would be enabled by regularly reviewing spend data, as well as keeping the Contracts Registers up to date which would assist the team to forward plan.  It would also educate the Procurement & Contracts team, as well as service users, to question whether there was a possibility for joint working on a project from the outset and it would review the possibility of setting up a Countywide Procurement group, that invited all Public Sector Organisations within Lincolnshire, to discuss procurement projects that could be done collaboratively, as well as sharing knowledge in general.

Committee were also reassured that the Strategy included supporting where possible, the Local Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who played a major role locally in creating jobs and generating income.  They would be provided with efficient and effective information to allow those who were interested, to submit quotations / apply for tendering opportunities, ensuring the process would be simple to follow.


Committee deliberation followed which included:


Addressing concerns in respect of the potential of suppliers becoming a ‘clique’ with a regular base of providers or approved supplier list, the Head of Procurement and Contracts confirmed that there was no approved suppliers list in use.  There was a data base of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.



(For Members to note/discuss the Committee’s current work programme)


Members were advised that an appointment would be scheduled within the following two weeks for the workshop to be hosted by the Chairman, to look at structuring the long term work programme.