Agenda and minutes

Council - Tuesday, 18th January 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: The Brayford Suite, The Alive Church, Newland, Lincoln, LN1 1XG

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

Items
No. Item

34.

Mayoral Announcements

Minutes:

Mayor’s Engagements

 

The Mayor referred to her engagements since the last meeting of the Council, which had included:

 

·         The Lincoln Christmas Market;

·         Christmas Carol Services;

·         A 100th Birthday Celebrations for a resident; and

·         The Australian Breakfast.

35.

Confirmation of Minutes - 30 November 2021 pdf icon PDF 184 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2021 be confirmed and signed by the Mayor as a true and accurate record, subject to Staffordshire Crescent being amended to Staverton Crescent on page 7 of the Agenda Pack.

36.

Confirmation of Minutes - 16 December 2021 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 16 December 2021 be confirmed.

37.

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 Patrick Vaughan declared a personal interest in Minute 7(a) as his granddaughter worked in the finance department and his daughter worked in the welfare team at the City of Lincoln Council.

38.

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

Minutes:

No questions had been submitted by members of the public.

39.

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

Minutes:

Councillor Lucinda Preston to Councillor Neil Murray, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth

 

Question

 

A lot of people have told me how much they enjoyed the Christmas Market. Could you please update us on the Council's view of the 2021 market?

 

Reply

 

Councillor Neil Murray stated in reply that the 2021 Market had been a great success despite a number of pressures in the build-up and during the operation of the market, including torrential rain on the Saturday; significant rail disruption; and Covid-19.  The Council estimated that around 275,000 people had visited the market over the four days, which it was believed, was the busiest for several years.

 

Councill Murray added that the Council had worked closely with Public Health to ensure that its operations had been Covid-19 secure and had delivered a large number of Covid-19 safety messages to visitors in advance such as ‘test before you come’ and ‘please wear a mask’.  First-aid and Police incidents had been lower than previous years.

 

There had been some great feedback on the market from visitors, stallholders and partners and some fantastic engagement on social media, which was always a good indicator of the feeling of the public and visitors.  The ‘reach’ of the communications campaign had been 2.5 million with the now iconic aerial photo of the market at night having reached over 400,000.  The Council was currently working through debriefs with agencies and contractors and the planning for this year’s event had already begun.  Councillor Murray thanked all the staff at the Council for their hard work in delivering the event.

 

Councillor Dave Clarkson to Councillor Neil Murray, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth

 

Question

 

Can the Executive Member provide an update on the Secretary of State’s review of the requested “call-in” of the Western Growth Corridor application?

 

Reply

 

Councillor Murray replied that the Secretary of State, via the national casework unit, had contacted the Council, as the local planning authority, to seek assurance that no decision notice would be issued until the Secretary of State had made a determination on the whether the application would be called-in.  The local planning authority had yet to receive this further notification.

 

Councillor Thomas Dyer to Councillor Bob Bushell, Portfolio Holder for Remarkable Place

 

Question

 

Can the Executive Member please provide an update on the recent closure of Yarbrough Leisure Centre?

 

Reply

 

In reply, Councillor Bob Bushell stated that the Yarborough Leisure Centre had been closed, after a routine safety inspection of the suspended ceiling above the pool had revealed some concerns about how some of the support brackets were aging.  A swimming pool created a corrosive environment and in a building of this age, maintenance issues of this type would emerge, and as a result there were the regular inspections.  As a precaution the pool had been closed and work was in hand to design, procure and implement a replacement ceiling.

 

Councillor Bushell continued by stating that whilst this work continued, the focus had moved to the learner pool which had a more  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

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

40a

Councillor Bill Bilton, Chair of Policy Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Bill Bilton, Chair of Policy Scrutiny Committee, presented his report to Council, which had been set out on pages 19 – 20 of the agenda.  Councillor Bilton thanked members of the Policy Scrutiny Committee for their input and commitment at meetings.

 

The Council was provided with an opportunity to make comments and ask questions, where the following points were confirmed:

 

·         Health Inequalities across the City – it was queried whether the Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire was exploring the significant disparities in health across the City’s wards.  It was also queried whether Birchwood was still considered an area of childhood poverty, as previously identified in 2012. In response, it was advised that the Chair of Policy Scrutiny Committee did not have this information.  However, it was noted that an all councillor briefing had been arranged for 9 March 2022 to consider a presentation by City Council officers on Tackling Health Issues in the City.  It was also noted that the Council published the Lincoln Profile on an annual basis, which provided statistical data of this nature.

·         Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire – it was highlighted that the main focus of the Committee at present was on the reconfiguration of certain local acute hospital services.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

40b

Councillor Sue Burke, Portfolio Holder for Reducing Inequality pdf icon PDF 630 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Sue Burke, Portfolio Holder for Reducing Inequality, presented her report to the Council, which had been set out on pages 21 – 34 of the agenda.  It was noted that the report covered a wide range of areas which reflected the Council’s commitment to reducing inequality. 

 

Councillor Burke wished her thanks be noted to all staff for their hard work during the pandemic. 

 

The Council was provided with an opportunity to make comments and ask questions, where the following points were confirmed:

 

·         Post-Pandemic Homeless Data – it was reported that there were 239 open homelessness enquiries as at 17 January 2022 of which: 24 were at the initial enquiry stage; 39 were likely to be homeless within 56 days; 143 were statutorily homeless; and 33 were awaiting accommodation. It was also noted that 41 individuals had been placed in temporary accommodation. 

·         Kickstart Scheme – it was queried whether data had shown whether the Kickstart Scheme had resulted in a decrease in the uptake of universal credit. It was confirmed these figures would be provided to Councillor Strengiel.

·         Benefits Advice Team Visits – it was queried whether the visits made by the Benefits Advice Team had resumed, following the temporary pause owing to the pandemic. In response, it was advised that this would continue to be reviewed regularly in line with national restrictions / health and safety advice.

·         Afghanistan Refugees – it was confirmed that the City Council had settled three families, who had settled in well.

·         Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour Enforcement – the enforcement action figures, as detailed on page 30 of the agenda, concerning dog fouling were queried, as they were deemed too low compared to the number of incidences.  In response, it was advised that more preventative work was required to reduce the incidences of dog fouling. 

·         University and Students’ Union – it was queried what the ‘student issues’ were, as detailed on page 31 of the agenda, which had previously been discussed at the Performance Scrutiny Committee.  It was suggested that in future, reports were updated following the Performance Scrutiny Committee to contain information which was discussed or clarified.  In responses to a question on the lack of data on drink spiking within the report, it was confirmed that the data had been requested from the relevant partners.

·         Food Vouchers for vulnerable families – it was commented that it was pleasing to see that the City Council had provided a grant of £5,430 towards the Food in School Holidays Christian Incorporated Organisation Project.

·         Domestic Violence – the Portfolio Holder committed to speaking to Councillor Matt Fido on a new scheme, similar to Ask Angela, which involved the wearing of badges to highlight that individuals could be approached to raise any domestic violence concerns. 

·         Unemployment Rates / Poverty Line – It was commented that whilst unemployment figures were falling, in Lincoln almost half of the people who fell below the acceptable poverty line were in paid employment, which put into question any correlation between employment and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40b

41.

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

41a

Statement of Accounts 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 428 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report on the Statement of Accounts 2020/21 had been circulated.

 

It was moved, seconded and

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Statement of Accounts for 2020/21 be approved.   

41b

Localised Council Tax Support Scheme 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 379 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report on the Localised Council Tax Support Scheme 2022/23 had been circulated.

 

It was moved, seconded and

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That approval be given to the continuation of proposed ‘no change’ to the core Council Tax Support scheme for 2022/23, as set out in Section 4 and subject to the technical amendments described in paragraph 5.3 of the report; and

 

(2)  That an increase in the Exceptional Hardship Payments scheme from £20,000 to £25,000, for the financial year 2022/23 be approved.

41c

Council Tax Base 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report on the Council Tax Base 2022/2023 had been circulated.

 

It was moved, seconded and

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That it be noted that there were no special items as defined in Section 35 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended) applicable to any part or parts of the City of Lincoln local authority area;

 

(2)  That the Chief Finance Officer’s calculation of the Council Tax Base for the financial year commencing 1st April 2022 and ending 31st March 2023, as set out in Appendix B of this report, be approved; and

 

(3)  That, in accordance with the Chief Finance Officer’s calculation, and pursuant to the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1992 (as amended), that the Council Tax Base for the 2022/23 financial year be approved as 25,310.01.

41d

Appointment of External Auditor pdf icon PDF 302 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report on the Appointment of External Auditor had been circulated.

 

It was moved, seconded and

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Public Sector Audit Appointments’ invitation to opt into the sector-led option for the appointment of external auditors to principal local government and police bodies for five financial years from 1 April 2023, be accepted.

42.

Freedom of the City pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Minutes:

A report on granting of Freedom of the City had been circulated.

 

It was moved, seconded and

 

RESOLVED

 

That, in accordance with Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972, an extraordinary meeting of the Council be arranged to award the Freedom of the City to The Lord Cormack.