Agenda and minutes

Executive - Monday, 17th October 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 and 2, City Hall, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln, LN1 1DD

Contact: Cheryl Evans, Democratic Services and Elections Manager  (01522 873439)

No. Item


Confirmation of Minutes -3 October 2022 pdf icon PDF 145 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 3 October 2022 be confirmed and signed by the Leader as a correct record.


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.


No declarations of interest were received.


Setting the 2022/23 Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023/24 – 2027/28 pdf icon PDF 793 KB


Purpose of Report


To update the Executive on the latest Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) position for the Council, including the challenges in preparing for the 2023/24 and future years budget, setting out the parameters within which the Council would prepare these budgets and confirm the Council’s approach to development of the budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy.


The report included an update on the current economic position and developments in national policy, specifically the recent fiscal statement and the implications for public sector and local government spending. This, along with the unavoidable and unprecedented, costs pressures, cost of living crisis and rising demand for Council services, would inform the development of the MTFS. Further details in respect of budget parameters for 2023/24 and future years, planning assumptions, together with budget strategic and service planning preparation was outlined at Appendices A and B of the report.




1.               That the significant financial challenges and risks faced by the Council, particularly the unplanned, and unavoidable increasing cost pressures be noted.


2.               That the projected budget parameters for 2023/24 and future years and the planning assumptions, as set out in Appendix A of the report, be noted.


3.               That the budget, strategic and service planning preparation programme, as set out in Appendix B of the report, be noted.


Alternative Options Considered and Rejected




Reason for Decision


The Council’s Vision 2025 and five strategic priorities drove the medium-term financial planning process, with changes in resource allocation determined in accordance with policies and priorities. The Medium Term Financial Strategy provided the framework for the development of annual budgets in line with the aims of the Council’s strategy and priorities.


The refreshed Medium Term Financial Strategy would include financial projections for the five-year financial planning period through to 2027/28. It would set out the financial parameters within which the Council was required to work and the recommended approach to addressing the financial challenges the Council faced to develop a balanced, sustainable budget and set at Council Tax for 2023/24.


In March 2022, Council agreed the budget for 2022/23 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022-2023; at that point the Council was in a robust financial position with a balanced MTFS, based on delivering a remaining budget gap of £0.750m, in the General Fund by 2024/25.


Much had changed since March 2022, with spiralling inflation, soaring energy prices and nationally agreed pay proposals set to add significant cost pressures to the Council’s budgets. These were in the main part caused by national issues, beyond the Council’s control, and were impacting all councils. In addition, the current cost of living crisis had the potential to increase demand for the Council’s services by those who relied on the safety net provided by local government.  These unforeseen and unavoidable pressures had seriously impacted the assumptions that underpinned the MTFS.  These new pressures came at a time when the Council was still recovering from the detrimental financial effects of Covid-19 pandemic and after facing a decade of austerity measures.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Localised Council Tax Support Scheme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 345 KB

Additional documents:


Purpose of Report


To propose options for consultation on a 2023/24 Council Tax Support scheme, and an accompanying Exceptional Hardship Payments scheme.




(1)            That the potential options for a Council Tax Support scheme for 2023/24, as detailed in Section 5 of the report to the Executive, be approved for public consultation and scrutiny.


(2)            That a ‘no change’ scheme for 2023/24 be agreed as the preferred option for public consultation and scrutiny.


(3)            That further detailed modelling of a Universal Credit banded scheme with a view to adopting such a scheme from 2024/25 be undertaken.


(4)            That an Exceptional Hardship Fund of £25,000 for 2023/24 be approved.


Alternative Options Considered and Rejected


As set out in Section 5 of the report to the Executive, two options for a Council Tax Support Scheme would be subject to public consultation and scrutiny:


  • Option 1: No change to the current scheme.
  • Option 2: ‘Introduction of a ‘banded scheme’ for Universal Credit based on earnings income


There would be public consultation on the Exceptional Hardship Payments Scheme, as detailed in paragraph 5.8 of the report. 


The outcome of the public consultation would be considered by the Executive on 3 January 2023 and the proposed 2023/24 scheme would require a decision by Council by 31 January 2023.


Reasons for the Decision


The Council Tax Support Scheme (CTS), which replaced the national council tax benefit system on 1 April 2014, may be determined by each billing authority, after consultation with precepting authorities, key stakeholders and residents.


As at 24 August 2022, there were 8,441 residents claiming CTS in Lincoln, of whom 2,636 were pensioners and were protected under the CTS. There was discretion to determine the level of support to the remaining 5,805 working age claimants (including those classified as ‘vulnerable’ for CTS purposes) in a local scheme which could change the level of support provided.


Unless a decision by the Council was made to apply scheme changes to vulnerable working-age customers, the localised CTS scheme would historically only be applied to non-vulnerable working age.


The current, 2022/23 scheme had the following restrictions for working age customers:


  • Capital limit £6,000;
  • Minimum entitlement of £2 per week;
  • Property banding capped at Band B, so that a customer residing in a Band C and above property, would only have their CTS calculated on Band B liability;
  • Backdating restricted to one month; and
  • Temporary absence from home in line with Housing Benefit regulations.


Modelling for each of the proposed Council Tax Support Scheme options was based on assumptions such as upgrading of benefit figures; Council Tax increases of between 1.9% and 2.5%; no increase in caseload for 2023/24, also a 5% caseload increase of no more than 5%; and a collection rate of 98.75%.


Another key factor to be considered was to ensure our software supplier, NEC, was able to accommodate the changes being proposed.  Normally, NEC would need to know about any potential significant changes required to the software system by the end of September 2022 preceding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.


Western Growth Corridor-Next Steps

Additional documents:


Purpose of Report


To update the Executive on progress since securing planning consent in January 2022 and to seek authority to proceed with the next stages of the delivery of the Western Growth Corridor (WGC) development, including:


-         Starting the procurement process for the design and build of the Tritton Road bridges and spine road that would complete the transport infrastructure through the site, so that delivery timescales could be met should funding for the Tritton Road bridges from Levelling Up Fund Round 2 (LUF2) be secured; and

-         The use of Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers to enable delivery of Phase 1a of the development.




1.     That procurement by officers be commenced on the Tritton Road bridges and Spine Road so that the Council would still be able to meet the timescales involved in delivering the LUF2 funding requirements should the Council be awarded and accept any funding offer made.


2.     That the Council uses compulsory purchase powers to acquire the two identified strips of unregistered land to enable the commencement of the opening-up infrastructure works of Phase 1a of the Western Growth Corridor development.


3.     That the power to override third party rights and easements under section 203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2003 be authorised.


4.     That authority be delegated to the Strategic Director for Major Developments and the City Solicitor to approve the final form of the application and use of the required compulsory purchase order powers and the decisions about the extent of the land or rights over land to be acquired provided that these were necessary for the purposes of delivering Western Growth Corridor and were within the area identified on the plan, as detailed at Appendix A of the report.


5.     That progress to date and the activities outlined in the report to further progress the scheme be supported.


Alternative Options Considered and Rejected




Reason for Decision


The Western Growth Corridor (WGC) represented one of four sustainable urban extension (SUE) areas around Lincoln identified and promoted in the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan for development to meet the area’s growth projections up to 2036.  It was the closest SUE to the city centre and had the greatest opportunity to achieve real sustainability both within the development and for the surrounding communities.  It was the major area for housing and employment growth in the city itself and a key part of delivering Lincoln’s Growth Strategy over the next 20 years.


The Central Lincolnshire Local Plan adopted in April 2017 following a robust and thorough examination had now approved the principle for development of the site.  Having established the principle of development, the next stage was to consider the key building blocks of the development at a broad rather than a detailed level.  The Local Plan allocation was for a new neighbourhood of 3,200 new homes (20% affordable), twenty hectares of commercial/employment space, a new Leisure Village, improvements in accessibility and range of green space, flood mitigation improvements, remediation of the former tip  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.


Exclusion of the Press and Public


There was no requirement for the press and public to be excluded as the agenda item entitled ‘ Western Growth Corridor - Next Steps’ was considered in the public domain in its entirety.


Western Growth Corridor-Next Steps


This item was considered in the public domain in its entirety as detailed under minute No 44 above.