Agenda and draft minutes

Executive - Monday, 14th December 2020 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

Contact: Graham Watts, Democratic Team Leader and Elections Manager  (01522 873439)

Items
No. Item

50.

Confirmation of Minutes - 23 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 276 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2020 be confirmed.

51.

Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

52.

Staff Recognition - Covid-19 pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To recognise the Council’s staff and seek approval to award all employees an additional annual leave day.

 

Decision

 

That an additional day of annual leave for all City of Lincoln Council employees be approved, subject to this being calculated on a pro-rata basis dependent on the hours they were contracted to work and it being taken within the next two years.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

During the Covid-19 pandemic the Council’s priority had been to support its residents and businesses to help keep the city safe and ensure it continued to deliver essential services.

 

The Chief Executive, in presenting the report, highlighted the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that she had never been as proud as she had been over the last few months in terms of the resilience of the Council’s staff who had risen to the significant challenges faced as a result of the pandemic. She reported that the Council had dealt with the crisis as a ‘One Council’ team in a very proactive and innovative way, with the manner in which the Council’s employees had worked together and responded to work differently and flexibility having been incredible.

 

It was therefore proposed, in recognition of these challenging times, to implement one day’s additional annual leave to be awarded to all employees. This would be on a pro-rata basis dependent upon how many hours the employee was contracted to work and could be taken within the next two years. It was recognised that many staff had been unable to take this year’s annual leave allocation as a result of the work they were undertaking and their dedication to keep services running.

 

Councillor Ric Metcalfe echoed the Chief Executive’s sentiments entirely and said that since the beginning of the pandemic the Council’s priority was to keep services going. The way in which staff had adapted had been magnificent and their efforts were greatly appreciated. Although possibly perceived as a small token, Councillor Metcalfe emphasised that it in no way underestimated the regard the Executive had for everything staff had done for the Council and the city’s residents.

 

Councillor Chris Burke added that the proposed additional day of annual leave was well deserved and was something other local authorities and organisations were doing to acknowledge the commitment of their staff.

53.

Allocations Policy pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To seek approval for minor amendments to the Council’s Allocations Policy which was approved in March 2020.

 

Decision

 

That the minor amendments to the Council’s Allocations Policy, as set out in the report, be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Since approval of the Council’s Housing Allocations Policy in March 2020, it had been noted that one section of the policy relating to Armed Forces did not fully reflect the latest legislation and guidance. The Policy had therefore been updated accordingly, with an additional appendix being included entitled ‘Bypass Reasons’ to ensure that the Council was completely transparent in all of its dealings with the allocation of accommodation.

 

Councillor Donald Nannestad welcomed the amendments to the document in relation to those serving in the Armed Forces. In addition, he highlighted some issues that had occurred in the implementation of the Allocations Policy since its approval in March from a systematic perspective. It was reported that the bidding process associated with allocating accommodation was solely undertaken online and significant changes to the software used to facilitate this as a result of the new Policy had been required. Unfortunately, as part of the first lockdown in relation to Covid-19 earlier in the year, the third party operator of the software had furloughed the majority of its staff and had only just returned to a full complement. It was therefore hoped that the system, including the new policy and subsequent amendments considered at this meeting, would be up and running by the end of December or the beginning of January.

 

Councillor Chris Burke took the opportunity to highlight the significance of recognising those who served in the Armed Forces.

54.

Facilities Strategy pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To present a final draft of the City Council’s Facilities Strategy for approval.

 

Decision

 

That the Council’s Facilities Strategy be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

In light of recent changes to the future growth plans of the City of Lincoln, a comprehensive Facilities Strategy was required to better understand the need for sporting facilities.

 

The Strategy, attached as Appendix A to the report, provided the Council with a holistic review of the existing provision of grass pitches, artificial pitches and ancillary facilities across the city. It also provided a detailed, evidence-based, document for pitch provision across Lincoln and its boundaries having reviewed existing provision, current usage from sports clubs, predicted population growth and the demographics of the catchment areas that surrounded the facilities.

 

The Strategy set out a tiered system to ensure equity across the city in terms of the provision of pitch-based sports, as follows:

 

·         Tier 1 – large multi-sport venues with indoor and outdoor sports;

·         Tier 2 – single site and single sport venues with multiple pitches and facilities;

·         Tier 3 – small sites with two separate sport or activity offerings, such as a cricket pitch alongside a football pitch;

·         Tier 4 – small single sites with only one sport or activity offering.

 

Each tier would have a discreet strategy to either invest, maintain or dispose in these assets, which would be reviewed on a periodic basis.

 

It was recommended that tier one facilities should be strategically located across the city to provide a geographical split, based on demand, population density and available associated facilities. The remaining tiered facilities would then be chosen to support the principal site in that sub-region. This approach would enable the Council to retain control of the budget for sports and leisure facilities and strategically provide venues for sports teams and clubs based on a prescribed priority list. Over the longer term it was envisaged that this would bring about efficiency savings for the Council and a more organised approach to the provision of playing pitches in the city.

 

Councillor Donald Nannestad explained that this Strategy represented one element of a range of things the Council needed to do and that a key aspect was to find ways of getting more people to become active. Lincoln compared favourably to other districts in the county, but not from a national perspective. In respect of the Covid-19 pandemic, Councillor Nannestad made the point that for some people this had led to them doing more than they usually would, however, some people as a consequence were doing much less.

 

It was noted that the proposed Strategy had been considered by the Council’s Policy Scrutiny Committee.

 

Councillor Bob Bushell welcomed the Strategy which provided a good indication of what facilities were available in the city and surrounding areas. He said that encouragement was a significant factor in getting people more active and that the Facilities Strategy should be read in conjunction with the Physical Activity Strategy also scheduled for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Physical Activity Strategy pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To present the final version of the Council’s Physical Activity Strategy for approval.

 

Decision

 

That the Council’s Physical Activity Strategy be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Historically, and in line with national trends, Lincoln had experienced generational improvements to the life expectancy of its residents. Over this same period, the quality of these life indices had also improved, which it was understood were closely linked to medical advances and an improved understanding of wider health issues.

 

Over the last ten years many of the more deprived areas of Lincoln had seen life expectancy measurements, along with various other quality of life indices, beginning to stall or, in some cases, decline. Although the reason for this decline could not be put down to a single cause, health experts agreed that this disappointing trend was closely related to the decline in the number of people taking part in regular physical exercise.

 

The Council’s Physical Activity Strategy, attached to the report at Appendix A, included a five year action plan designed to improve the numbers taking part in physical activity, especially those from specifically targeted hard to reach groups. Interventions and programmes would also target specific deprived regions of Lincoln with challenging health and socio economic indices.

 

As part of implementing the Strategy, the City Council would work with various other organisations including its own leisure provider, Active Nation, to deliver a number of programmes and interventions to improve these activity levels.

 

In the longer term, the Physical Activity Strategy had the aspiration to develop and imbed a longer term ‘Active City’ Plan for the City Council. Work leading to this award would include at its core the establishment of a city wide management group to further develop the Council’s approach to becoming an ‘Active City’.

 

It was reported that the Strategy had been considered by the Council’s Policy Scrutiny Committee, which had commended the document as inspirational.

 

Councillor Bob Bushell fully supported this document and reflected that lots of people were taking part in a range of activities, the vast majority of which were free and easy access. It was mental health as well as physical health that could be improved as a result of becoming more active, with the implications of Covid-19 resulting in people meeting up with friends or family for walks or other activities that they perhaps may not have done previously. In addition, there were lots of volunteering opportunities available, particularly in respect of the city’s open spaces. Councillor Bushell acknowledged that there were still challenges, with some people still feeling effects of austerity and Lincoln sitting amongst the 20% of the most deprived authorities in the country. Average life expectancy in some areas of the city continued to be alarmingly low, with high levels of obesity also apparent. From the perspective of individual, social and economic benefits, Councillor Bushell made the point that all of these factors played a part in benefitting society, highlighting the importance of people becoming  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Exclusion of the Press and Public pdf icon PDF 7 KB

You are asked to resolve that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items because it is likely that if members of the press or public were present, there would be disclosure to them of 'exempt information'.

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, notice is hereby given of items which will be considered in private, for which either 28 days' notice has been given or approval has been granted by the appropriate person specified in the Regulations. For further details please visit our website at http://www.lincoln.gov.uk or contact Democratic Services at City Hall, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln.

 

These items are being considered in private as they are likely to disclose exempt information, as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. No representations have been received in relation to the proposal to consider these items in private.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business because it was likely that if members of the public were present there would be a disclosure to them of ‘exempt information’ as defined by Section 100I and Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

These items were considered in private as they were likely to disclose exempt information, as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. No representations had been received in relation to the proposal to consider these items in private.

57.

Write-outs of Irrecoverable Non Domestic Rates, and Overpayment of Housing Benefit

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To seek approval to write out debts deemed irrecoverable.

 

Decision

 

That the recommendations contained within the report be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The reasons for the decision were set out in the report.

 

58.

Delivery of Housing Planned Maintenance

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To consider the future delivery of the housing planned maintenance service.

 

Decision

 

That the recommendation contained within the report be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Alternative options considered were set out in the report.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The reasons for the decision were set out in the report.