Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Tuesday, 3rd March 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: The Guildhall

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

Items
No. Item

34.

Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Council that Councillor Andy Kerry had recently been unwell and was making a steady recovery at home. Members wished Councillor Kerry well in his convalescence.

35.

Confirmation of Minutes - 21 January 2020 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 21 January 2020 be confirmed.

36.

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:

Councillor Ralph Toofany declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest with regard to the agenda item titled 'Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020-2025'. Councillor Toofany was an allotment tenant. A dispensation by the Monitoring Officer had been granted to enable any member who was an allotment tenant to participate in proceedings relating to the Medium Term Financial Strategy and the setting of the budget.

 

Councillor Pat Vaughan declared a Personal Interest with regard to the agenda item titled 'Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020-2025'. Councillor Vaughan's granddaughter worked in the Council's finance department.

37.

Receive Any Questions under Council Procedure Rule 11 from Members of the Public and Provide Answers thereon

Minutes:

No questions from the public had been received.

38.

Receive Any Questions under Council Procedure Rule 12 from Members and Provide Answers thereon

Minutes:

Question by Councillor Hilton Spratt to the Leader of the Council

 

Councillor Spratt asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

“What arrangements has the Council made to celebrate VE Day?”

 

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the Council, reported that the Council was organising a Tri-Service Parade with the Navy, Army and Air Force similar to that held in 2018 for Artmistice Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The Parade was scheduled to commence at St. Martin’s Square, led by a marching band, and stop at the War Memorial for a salute and wreath-laying by civic dignitaries. There would be a short service at the War Memorial, following which the three Services would march to City Square where a bugler would sound the Last Post/Reveille at 2.55pm to coincide with the rest of the country. During the evening, a 1940’s style picnic with bands and military equipment on display would be held at Boultham Park.

 

As a supplementary, Councillor Spratt said that it was very fitting to celebrate the end of that war and the defeat it entailed regarding genocide and the holocaust, particularly in the context of the motion this Council had agreed at its previous meeting in respect of anti-semitism.

 

Question by Councillor Thomas Dyer to the Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing

 

Councillor Dyer asked the Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing the following question:

 

“What procedure does the Council have in place if an existing Council tenant wishes to have an electric vehicle charging point fitted? Do we signpost and support tenants with this? Do we have the appropriate local contractors in place to complete this work if requested?”

 

Councillor Donald Nannestad, Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing, reported that the Council had not appointed a specific contractor for this purpose. He made the point, however, that when people bought electric cars they would often be signposted to local firms who could undertake that work. New properties often did have electric charging points included and this was the case with the Council’s new-build properties. For those older properties that did not have charging points for electric vehicles, the Council would signpost people to a Government scheme which currently offered up to a 75% grant for the works to be undertaken. The Council would be looking at ways to encourage tenants to take up electric charging points in the future, should they be interested in switching to electric vehicles.

 

Councillor Dyer asked the following question as a supplementary:

 

“Is there a timeframe for when a Council policy or public-facing document will be made available for residents on this issue?”

 

Councillor Nannestad responded by saying that this would be looked into, but reminded Council that the Housing Strategy and thirty-year Business Plan were both in the process of being developed. The climate change agenda, including provision for the use of electric vehicles, needed to be reflected as part of the development of both documents.

39.

Receive Reports under Council Procedure Rule 2 (vi) from Members

39a

Report by Councillor Bob Bushell - Portfolio Holder for Remarkable Place pdf icon PDF 704 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Bob Bushell, Portfolio Holder for Remarkable Place, presented a report on the work of his portfolio and provided updates on the following areas:

 

·         allotments;

·         equipped play areas;

·         parks;

·         Boultham Park;

·         Hartsholme Country Park and Camp Site;

·         the Commons;

·         volunteering;

·         arboriculture;

·         bereavement services and the crematorium;

·         licensing;

·         food health and safety;

·         waste and recycling;

·         sport, recreation and leisure services.

 

Councillor Pat Vaughan, promoted woodland burials as a sustainable alternative to cremation and use of cemeteries but acknowledged that this did not take place in Lincoln. He questioned how many people had recently been buried at the cemetery on Long Leas Road.

 

Councillor Bushell confirmed that woodland burials were not undertaken in the city, however, there were other agencies in Lincolnshire that did provide such a ceremony. The City Council was increasingly using the cemetery at Long Leas road, with 95 burials having occurred there in recent months. There were sustainable options available in Lincoln, with an increased use of wicker coffins as opposed to traditional wood. Additionally, enviro-board coffins could be used at the crematorium which released lower emissions when burnt.

 

Councillor Christopher Reid queried the section of the report in relation to bus shelters where it had been claimed that funding was withdrawn by necessity of government imposed cuts. He argued that the withdrawal of funding for bus shelters had not been imposed by the government and had in fact been a decision of the administration.

 

Councillor Bushell, in response, highlighted that significant cuts in local government funding as part of the government’s austerity measures had led to the Council having to make difficult decisions regarding its prioritisation of resources.

 

Councillor Toofany highlighted the problem of fly-tipping, which he felt had significantly increased in some areas. He asked what more could be done to identify those responsible and take necessary action.

 

Councillor Bushell acknowledged that fly-tipping was a persistent problem but that the Council did try to prevent this where possible and prosecute accordingly where it could.

 

Councillor Thomas Dyer referred to residents on Hykeham Road last week not having their green bins emptied, which was as a result of sickness absence and a national shortage of HGV refuse collection drivers. He therefore asked what plans were in place to ensure that this situation was managed locally.

 

Councillor Bushell reported that residents on Hykeham Road had their green bins collected the next day, with messages having been sent out via social media to keep residents as updated as possible. The retention of HGV refuse collection drivers was a national problem, with one of the key issues being that drivers attained their HGV licence but then often moved on to more lucrative jobs such as long-distance lorry driving, for example. Officers were working on ways in which this could be addressed.

 

Councillor Ronald Hills was concerned that Hartsholme Country Park was rapidly becoming dilapidated, together with bungalows and houses located within its boundary.

 

Councillor Bushell highlighted that the Council had a good record with the Arboretum and Boultham Park  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39a

39b

Report by Councillor Donald Nannestad - Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Donald Nannestad, Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing, presented a report on the work of his portfolio and provided updates on the following areas:

 

·         the centenary of Council housing in Lincoln and a series of events involving tenants to mark the anniversary;

·         homelessness;

·         tenancy management;

·         new build and allocations;

·         the right to buy scheme;

·         vehicle fleet and a potential move towards use of electric vehicles.

 

Councillor Vaughan reported that, in respect of tenancy management, the number of cases considered by the Housing Appeals Panel had dropped in the last year.

 

Councillor Nannestad reported that lots of work had been undertaken with tenants of the sustainability of their tenancies and that feedback from the Housing Appeals Panel had assisted in this.

 

The report was noted.

39c

Report by Councillor Jane Loffhagen - Chair of the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 364 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Jane Loffhagen, Chair of the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee, presented a report on the work of the Committee, particularly in respect of the Scrutiny Review into Social Isolation. It was noted that a further Scrutiny Review into Community Integration had now commenced.

 

The report was noted.

39d

Report by Councillor Lucinda Preston - Sustainability Advocate pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Lucinda Preston, Sustainability Advocate, presented a report on her advocacy role, which included updates on the following areas:

 

·         sustainability and the City of Lincoln Council;

·         tackling climate change;

·         the Lincoln Climate Commission;

·         the scope of Lincoln’s roadmap to zero carbon;

·         sustainability in respect of housing;

·         sustainability in respect of reducing single use plastic;

·         sustainability in respect of waste and recycling;

·         sustainability in respect of improving the environment;

·         sustainability in respect of transport;

·         sustainability in respect of food.

 

Councillor Chris Burke highlighted the excellent information available on the City Council’s website regarding sustainability and felt that it was important for this work to continue.

 

Councillor Ronald Hills encouraged all members of Council to take advantage of the technology available to them and adopt paperless working in respect of the Council’s meetings.

 

Councillor Christopher Reid asked whether the Western Growth Corridor development included carbon neutral initiatives and whether the scheme itself was considered as carbon neutral. He questioned how this development would help the Council contribute to its net reduction in carbon emissions. Councillor Reid was also of the view that more work needed to be done on the sustainability section of the Council’s website by way of offering suggestions and help to residents rather than solely providing information.

 

Councillor Preston reported that a statement of carbon neutrality would form part of the planning application associated with the Western Growth Corridor which, as a development, would be designed to be as carbon neutral as possible.

 

In respect of the website, Councillor Preston acknowledged that this was a work in progress and that other authorities, such as Cambridge City Council, had adopted online toolkits which residents could use. It was the aim to have something similar on the Council’s website in due course as the content grew and developed.

 

The report was noted.

40.

To Consider the Following Recommendations of the Executive and Committees of the Council

40a

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020-2025 pdf icon PDF 534 KB

This item is scheduled for consideration by the Council’s Executive on 24 February 2020. A copy of the Executive report is therefore attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED that Council Procedure Rule 17.4 regarding the content and length of speeches be suspended to allow the Leader of the Council and a representative of the Opposition unlimited time to speak on this item.

 

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the Council, proposed the recommendations contained within the report, subject to amendments to specific fees and charges as set out on the supplement which had been published and circulated.

 

Councillor Donald Nannestad, Deputy Leader of the Council, seconded the proposal.

 

Councillor Thomas Dyer, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, proposed a number of amendments by way of an alternative budget which comprised:

 

·         investment in further managed workspaces. These were particularly needed in the South of the City where there was already a lot of investment in North Hykeham by North Kesteven District Council;

·         an increase in sheltered bus stops throughout the city ensuring, where practicably possible, a sheltered bus stop was available comprising an initial investment of £50,000 - £75,000;

·         investment to create more electric vehicle charging stations across the City comprising an initial investment of £50,000;

·         all Council Housing Revenue Account vehicles which were procured after 2025 to be electric;

·         a free garden waste bin for residents under a new, reformed service - £300,000;

·         a 10% increase in public waste bins across the city - £20,000;

·         payment of initial rent guarantees in the form of a loan to allow people to rent private housing – cost neutral;

·         maintenance cost of increasing sheltered bus stops throughout the city - £20,000;

·         the creation of ‘pop-in’ parking, to encourage more people to shop locally and use the city centre – cost neutral;

·         a full review into the staff management structure to save £250,000 per annum;

·         further staffing investment in online services, to make the digital face of the authority the easiest and most efficient way to do business with the Council – cost neutral;

·         more shared services with neighbouring Councils;

·         a full review into the Sincil Bank neighbourhood working scheme;

·         developing unused Council owned buildings and/or land where possible;

·         reforming the amount Councillors received who had additional responsibility;

·         fundamentally review all outsourced contracts when they were due for renewal;

·         a full review of external grants the Council issued. The current spend was over £400,000 per annum;

·         a green audit to investigate the usage of utilities (gas, electricity and water). The current bill stood at over £850,000;

·         a full review of what the authority posted and, where statutorily possible, use of email rather than hard copies.

 

Councillor Hilton Spratt, Leader of the Opposition, seconded the amendment.

 

In voting on the amendment, the amendment was lost.

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 19.7 a recorded vote was taken, the result of which was as follows:

 

For

 

Against

Abstention

Councillor Briggs

Councillor Bean

 

Councillor Dyer

Councillor Bilton

 

Councillor Hills

Councillor Brothwell

 

Councillor Mara

Councillor C Burke

 

Councillor Reid

Councillor S Burke

 

Councillor Spratt

Councillor B Bushell

 

Councillor Strengiel

Councillor L Bushell

 

 

Councillor Ellis

 

 

Councillor Hewson

 

 

Councillor J Kirk

 

 

Councillor R Kirk  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40a

40b

Council Tax 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

This item is scheduled for consideration by the Council’s Executive on 24 February 2020. A copy of the Executive report is therefore attached.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED that Council:

 

(1)       Accepts the 6 January 2020 Executive recommendation that the Council             Tax Base for 2020/21, as calculated in accordance with The Local Authorities        (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, be 24,689.50.

 

(2)       Calculates the following amounts for the year 2020/21 in accordance               with Sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:

 

a)

£105,217,640

being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils.

 

b)

 

£98,302,610

 

being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act.

                                                                        

c)

£6,915,030

being the amount by which the aggregate at 2(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 2(b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year. (Item R in the formula in Section 31A (4) of the Act).

 

d)

£280.08

being the amount at 2(c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T (1 above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B(1) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish precepts).

 

e)

£0

being the aggregate amount of all special items (Parish precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act

 

f)

£280.08

being the amount at 2(c) above less the amount at 2(e) above, all divided by the amount at 1 above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 33(1) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year

 

g)

City of Lincoln Council

 

A

 

B

 

C

 

D

£186.72

£217.84

£248.96

£280.08

E

F

G

H

£342.32

£404.56

£466.80

£560.16

 

being the amounts given by multiplying the amount at 2(f) above by the number which, in proportion set out in Section 5(1) of the Act, is applicable to dwellings listed in a particular band divided by the number which in proportion is applicable to dwellings listed in Valuation Band D, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 36(1) of the Act, as the amounts to be taken for the year in respect of categories of dwellings listed in different bands.

 

(3)       Note that for the year 2020/21 Lincolnshire County Council have stated the      following amounts in precepts issued to the Council, in accordance with the      dwelling bandings shown below:

 

Lincolnshire County Council

 

A

B

C

D

£891.72

£1,040.34

£1,188.96

£1,337.58

E

F

G

H

£1,634.82

£1,932.06

£2,229.30

£2,675.16

 (4)      Note that for the year 2020/21 the Police and Crime Commissioner has stated                the following amounts in precepts issued to the Council, in accordance with         the dwelling bandings shown below:

 

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire

A

B

C

D

£167.58

£195.51

£223.44

£251.37

E

F

G

H

£307.23

£363.09

£418.95

£502.74

 

(5)       Having calculated the aggregate in each case of the amounts at 2(g), 3             and 4 above, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40b

40c

Prudential Indicators 2019/20 - 2022/23 and Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 620 KB

This item is scheduled for consideration by the Council’s Executive on 24 February 2020. A copy of the Executive report is therefore attached.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED:

 

(1)       That the prudential indicators, as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.

 

(2)       That the revised Minimum Revenue Position Policy, as detailed in Appendix 2 of the report, be approved.

 

(3)       That the Treasury Management Strategy, including the treasury management prudential indicators and the Investment Strategy, as detailed in Appendix 3 of the report, be approved.

 

(4)       That the revised Treasury Management Practices and Schedules, as set out in Appendix 4 of the report, be approved.

40d

Vision 2020 Strategic Plan

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Vision 2020 Strategic Plan was noted.

40e

Vision 2025 Strategic Plan pdf icon PDF 254 KB

This item is scheduled for consideration by the Council’s Executive on 24 February 2020. A copy of the Executive report is therefore attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED that the Vision 2025 Strategic Plan be approved.

40f

Pay Policy Statement 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

This item is scheduled for consideration by the Council’s Executive on 24 February 2020. A copy of the Executive report is therefore attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED that the Pay Policy Statement 2020/21 be approved.

41.

Annual Timetable of Meetings 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED that the annual timetable of Council meetings for 2020/21 be approved.