Agenda and draft minutes

Overview & Scrutiny - Environment & Performance Committee - Tuesday, 13th February, 2024 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Karen Rist, Democratic Services Officer  Telephone Number 01205 314226. email:  karen.rist@boston.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

41.

APOLOGIES

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Prior to accepting apologies the Chairman confirmed that in the absence of the Vice Chairman Councillor Lina Savickiene, she had invited Councillor Anton Dani to support her in the role of Vice Chairman for the meeting.

 

Apologies were tabled by Councillor Alison Austin with Councillor Stephen Woodliffe in Substitution.  Apologies were also tabled from Councillors Neil Drayton and Lena Savickiene and further apologies were tabled by the Lead Officer for the Committee the Assistant Director – Regulatory, with the Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture substituting.

42.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To sign and confirm the  minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

With the agreement of the Committee the Chairman signed the minutes of the previous meeting.

43.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

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

Minutes:

None tabled

44.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

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 Thursday 8th February 2024

Minutes:

None Tabled

45.

MARKETS PROVISION pdf icon PDF 239 KB

A report by the Markets Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was tabled by the Portfolio Holder who advised that the report sought to provide an overview on how Boston’s regular Wednesday and Saturday markets had been performing and it proposed actions for the further development of the service.

Markets were one of many industries that suffered during the COVID pandemic with only essential stalls allowed to stand. Since then markets across the country have adapted and tried to recover following the lifting of national restrictions.  The Council had an aim to move the Markets Service to a break even position and find savings year on year, and the Partnership Annual Delivery Plan included two projects for the Boston Markets Service to undertake during the 2023/24 financial year. Those were to review the Markets Policy and to undertake a review of the Markets Service, seeking to deliver savings, whilst also growing the Markets Service.  The Council had also launched a Boston Town Centre Strategy, and the Development/Action Plan aimed to support the strategy’s aim to regenerate the town centre.

The new dedicated Market Manager had been in post since July 2022. The Manager had now had the time to grow into the role, establish positive relationships with traders and had started a full service review of both the Markets Policy and Markets service in line with the Partnership’s Annual Delivery Plan.

The purpose of the Market Policy was to set out the matters the Council would take into account when considering and undertaking its duty to provide and manage its markets. It detailed the responsibilities of the Council in official guidance of the policy for the Council to act in a particular way and the expectation set of the traders.  Market Stalls are provided by a team of eight erectors. Seven of which are on ten hours per week contracts. One is on fourteen hours but also helps the markets officer for two hours on the morning of each market.

The current pitch fees are similar to other markets in the area. Boston regular traders pay £22 per stall or £1.50 per foot of frontage. While casual traders pay £25 and £2 per foot frontage.

The Boston Markets had operated in its current format for over five years, and now required both investment due to the current stalls coming to the end of their life cycle, and savings were needed to achieve a breakeven position. The service was therefore reviewing its operation. The Development/Action plan has written to achieve these outcomes and sought to focus on: delivering modern traditional markets that were cost efficient delivering the best value for money; delivering vibrant attractive markets that appeals to visitors and residents alike, attracting new young traders and Increasing marketing activity, whilst finally working with the Council’s Events Team and local partners to add value to markets with entertainment and events. The Boston Market Action Plan has been developed as a “live document” to be continually developed in order to support accountability within the service to strategically and operationally deliver  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

OVERVIEW OF THE CCTV FUNCTION AT BOSTON BOROUGH COUNCIL pdf icon PDF 192 KB

A report by the Assistant Director – Wellbeing, Community and Leadership.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder presented the report and advised that following an all-member briefing on 16th October 2023 which covered the functions of Community Safety provided by the Borough Council, the Environment and Performance Committee had requested further information specifically in respect to the CCTV system.  Members were advised that the use of CCTV cameras within the Borough played an important role in addressing community safety issues; being utilised to deter and detect crimes as well as directing an effective response across a number of agencies if required.

 

 

In turn, it supported communities to feel safer whilst they went about their daily activities. Whilst CCTV systems were an important tool in providing the most effective solution to community safety issues, they had to be used alongside other measures and intelligence in providing early intervention and prevention activities to reduce crime.  The CCTV system was managed and monitored by the Community Safety Team at Boston Borough Council. The service supported approximately 300 cameras across Boston, South Holland, East Lindsey and North Kesteven.  16 large screens formed the video wall each displaying several images. Opportunities to invest in the equipment and service overall were proactively sought, to help ensure that it met the needs of the communities from a quality and surveillance perspective. All cameras were carefully positioned, taking into account lines of sight and the wider environment. A maintenance contract was in place to ensure any faults were dealt with in a timely manner. Weekly maintenance took place and remote access allowed for quick fixes.  Through £396,945 of ‘Safer Streets’ funding (a Home Office fund supporting local authorities to invest in crime prevention initiatives) the Borough Council had developed a programme of works which included undertaking several significant upgrades to the system.  That work would continue throughout 2024 and included increasing the number of cameras to provide further surveillance opportunities, whilst improving lines of sight, the quality of images and recordings. The range of cameras used included multiple HD static cameras which recorded the area all the time, upgraded wireless antenna units for extra bandwidth for higher definition and HD PTZ camera which were movable and zoomable for monitoring ongoing incidents. Hot spot cameras would be supporting Operation Plotting in Wormgate, Central Park and West Street.  A new maintenance contract would also be procured alongside to ensure continued proactive maintenance and timely repairs should they be required.  There were five full time staff at the centre, which operated on a 24-hours a day, seven days a week basis. These staff concentrate on rotas within the working week whilst a further six part time staff covered weekends. In addition, the centre had five staff members that operated on a flexible basis, covering annual leave and other absences.  Adding further opportunities into the suite, the team were undertaking a ‘Trusted Volunteering Programme’ in collaboration with Lincolnshire Police. Commencing in April 2024, which would provide an opportunity for individuals to be involved in supporting their local communities through proactive surveillance,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 189 KB

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

Minutes:

Members noted the work programme for the next meeting and a member requested an update on the situation in Central Park.  The Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture advised that due to ongoing weather conditions the grounds staff were still waiting to sow the seeds.