Agenda item




The following questions were received.


1.     Question to Councillor Dale Broughton from Councillor Stephen Woodliffe.

“People are very unhappy about the current state of Central Park. People want to know when the park will be restored to its former state and when the Public will be able to enjoy its facilities. Are you able to give a timetable for its restoration and the cost to the Borough Council?”


Response from Councillor Dale Broughton.

“I thank Councillor Woodliffe for his question. As you will be aware Central Park was adversely affected by Storm Babette and repairs have continued to be hampered by subsequent storms. Now that we have had dryer weather, works have started on the 12th January to remove the remaining the remaining surface water. And further works are programmed for later this week subject to the ground conditions. The cost of the works themselves are being met by the fayre operator with support from Council Officers in getting the works delivered.


There was no supplementary question.


2.     Question to Councillor Anne Dorrian from Councillor Stephen Woodliffe.

“It appears that come Councillors are unaware or unsure of the restrictions placed on Councillors in regard to the acceptance of gifts and hospitality from well-wishers. Do you agree with me that it would be helpful for Officers to run a refresher training course for all Councillors on the Code of Conduct for Councillors, referencing in particular the risks to Elected Members’ reputations from accepting significant gifts and hospitality?”


Response from Councillor Anne Dorrian.

“I thank Councillor Woodliffe for notice of his question. Training on the Code of Conduct for Councillors was provided to Members following the District Council Elections in last year [May 2023] as part of the Councillor Induction Programme. I agree with you that refresher training on this topic is important and can confirm that an annual refresher course on the Code of Conduct is planned for later this year. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind Members that they can contact the Monitoring Officer or his Deputy for advice on any queries they might have relating to the Code of Conduct.”


There was no supplementary question.


3.     Question to Councillor Anne Dorrian from Councillor Stephen Woodliffe.

“Referencing the Local Government Association (LGA), the Localism Act 2011 gave Councils the freedom to be creative and entrepreneurial, acting directly in the interest of their communities and in their own financial interest, by ensuring that decision-making would be devolved to the lowest appropriate level, resulting in more locally responsive public services.

Do you agree with me that the Devolution plans, as presented in Agenda Item 7 to be considered tonight, run contrary to the ethos of the Localism Act of 2011?”


Response from Councillor Anne Dorrian

“The issue of devolution cannot be distilled into a short yes or no response: i.e. Do I agree with you or not.

What I can say is this. That I agree with your belief with regard to decision-making being devolved as far as possible to local community leaders, to be done in consultation with their residents, and that when this occurs, what ensues are invariable much better outcomes for local people. The caveat would be those occasions when people grab power or end up with positions of power and use them for petty personal vendettas; for example, I can think of a local Parish Council where this is happening as we speak.

This evening we have as agenda item on the overall topic of devolution in Lincolnshire, and I would ask Councillor Woodliffe for his patience as this unfolds. To ensure that a comprehensive debate takes place, I am willing to support the move to suspend Standing Orders – which is something which the Conservative group failed to ever do during the last administration.”


Supplementary question from Councillor Stephen Woodliffe to Councillor Anne Dorrian.

“I attended the devolution consultation at the Boston United Football Club’s conference centre on Thursday 11th January, and during that consultation I had a sharp exchange of views with a County Councillor. She alleged that Boston Borough Council missed the deadline for the submission of projects to be considered under the first round of the devolution project and that’s why our Council has no benefits from the initial round of cash provided under the deal from Government. However, I note the statement at the foot of page 130 in the agenda pack, which we’ll discuss later, that no projects put forward by our Council were supported. Perhaps you would like to comment upon the assertion that our Council missed the deadline.”


Response form Councillor Anne Dorrian to Councillor Stephen Woodliffe.

“Firstly, I would like to thank you very much for defending our Council in the face of what can only be described as open hostility. I’m incredibly disappointed in another Councillor who has a seat, not only on East Lindsey District Council but Lincolnshire County Council and represents their residents as one of our supposed partners has found it necessary to resort to such underhand and deceitful rhetoric.

I can assure Councillor Woodliffe and the rest of Council that we did in fact submit out bid in time. This process was discussed at length by myself and our Chief Executive, and I have here the very submission that was sent to Debbie Barnes (the Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council), the email that our Chief Executive sent on my behalf, and the response form Debbie Barnes.

The Chief Executive sent the email on Friday the 25th of August and when you receive this copy, which will be made available to all Councillors, you will see that Debbie Barnes responded to all the Chief Executives in Lincolnshire the same day accepting our bid and asking the others to submit their bids by the following Wednesday (30/08/2023) thereby proving that we were well within the deadline.

Given the elected Member you’re speaking of, and you’ve chosen not to name this evening, which I’m going to honour, given that she is a Member of Councillor Hill’s Cabinet, I would suggest that she should be extremely familiar with the ‘Nolan Principles of Public Life’ and in my view, her conduct at this event falls far below what is expected of Elected Members. If I were you Councillor Woodliffe I would give serious consideration to lodging a formal complaint, thank you.”