Agenda and draft minutes

(Budget Meeting), Council - Tuesday, 28th February 2023 6.30 pm

Venue: The Guildhall, Saltergate, Lincoln, LN1 1DH

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

No. Item


Confirmation of Minutes -17 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 320 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2023 be confirmed and signed by the Chair as an accurate record.


Councillor Hilton Spratt abstained from voting.


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.


Councillor Pat Vaughan declared a Personal Interest with regard to the agenda item entitled ‘Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023 – 2028’.


Reason: His granddaughter worked in the finance department at the City of Lincoln Council.



Mayor's Announcements


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

  • A fundraising Whisky Tasting evening at the Guildhall
  • A visit to a local primary school, which was a 187 year old tradition



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


No questions had been submitted by members of the public.


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


Councillor Thomas Dyer to Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Portfolio Holder for Our People and Resources




As the Executive Member for Communications, Councillor Metcalfe admitted himself at the Executive meeting on the 20th February that the City Council, under his leadership, did not adequately consult with both residents and businesses regarding the future of the Lincoln Christmas Market. This follows claims from Sharon Edwards that several years ago a senior officer raised concerns at how big the Christmas Market has become. 


We are told that this has been privately known about for a while, the advanced public consultation has been non-existent, stakeholders have been left uninformed, the entire Lincoln Christmas offering is now uncertain.  


Has Cllr Metcalfe learnt any lessons from the last couple of weeks?




We are a Council who ordinarily exercise extensive consultation. In addition, we have a good record of consultation as a matter of course. In relation to the Lincoln Christmas Market, the Council could have consulted more widely prior to the decision to end the Market in the tradition form. However, for any consultation to be meaningful, there has to be an offer of some degree of choice. This was a rare occasion whereby no choice was available to the Council or anyone else. The independent multi-agency Safety Advisory Group advice was emphatic - on public safety grounds, the Christmas Market could not continue in its current form. There will be meaningful consultation on the events programme going forward to make it a safer environment.




Residents, businesses, and tourists are dissatisfied. Is it time for Councillor Ric Metcalfe to step down as Leader of the Council?




The emphatic advice received from the multi-agency Safety Advisory Group was clear that, ‘…no revisions to the market event plan will safely deal with any increase in visitor numbers beyond those experienced in 2022’. The Council could not ignore that advice or to offer that advice for public debate. We had a solemn duty to safeguard public safety. We were aware that members of the public and businesses, like us, held great affection for the Christmas Market. In addition, we were aware that the market provided an opportunity for businesses to generate revenue over the winter months and as such, businesses may have preferred us to ignore the advice provided to us from the Safety Advisory Group. On occasion, it was necessary to put popularity aside to ensure the correct thing was done for the right reasons. This was one of those occasions. We were not saying goodbye to Christmas, we were going to find a better and safer way to enjoy Christmas.


Councillor Hilton Spratt to Councillor Donald Nannestad




Can the Portfolio Holder please explain what if any impact the current economic climate has had on our housebuilding programme?




It hasn't made any difference to our plans so to speak, however we must accept that material and labour costs have increased significantly, perhaps upwards of 30%. Additionally, supply can be an issue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.


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


Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023 - 2028 pdf icon PDF 516 KB

Additional documents:


It was moved by Councillor Rosanne Kirk, seconded by Councillor Donald Nannestad 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 the Leader of the Opposition unlimited time to speak on Minute 47a.


Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the Council, proposed the recommendations contained within the report, as detailed on page 33 of the agenda pack, in relation to the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023-2028 and budget.


He reflected on strategic considerations and long term financial sustainability, highlighting effective use of resources and demonstratable progress to support effective delivery of services and alignment with aspirations for strategic priorities. In addition, there were a number of Councils that had been served with or faced a Section 114 notice, a power given to s114 Officers within Council’s to challenge the sustainability of a Council’s plan. Due to the determination of elected Members, the skills of Officers and excellent financial stewardship, the City of Lincoln Council (CoLC) had not received such notice.


Reference was made to budget pressures and the reduction of Drainage Board Levy’s of £1.75M with a timescale of 2025/26 for achievement. It was noted that the Council had retained the £1.7M Council Tax Support Scheme and the average increase proposed for Fees and Charges was approximately 5% although many would not increase at all.


The Leader of the Council referred to section 4.4 of the report and confirmed that achievement for Council Taxpayers was significant when considered with the size of the authority in mind. He offered his thanks and gratitude to the hard working and dedicated staff for all achievements gained against the five strategic priorities.


Reference to achievements included, but were not limited to, growth within the City and urban regeneration projects, support for poorer households struggling with the cost of living crisis, investment of £50M in Council Housing stocks, the building of new homes and reduction in homelessness and aspirations for a carbon natural city by 2030.


An increase of 2.9% in Council Tax was proposed, which averaged approximately 9-11p per week for approximately 80% of residents paying Council Tax. The proposed 2.9% increase was below the 3% Government imposed cap and it was highlighted that 14.3% of the total Council Tax bill for the City of Lincoln was attributable to the City Council, with the remainder going to Lincolnshire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner.


Councillor Donald Nannestad, Deputy Leader of the Council, seconded the proposition and reiterated the points made. In addition, he referred to page 33 of the agenda pack and added that there was a series of additional pressures such as inflation, difficulties in the supply chain and the cost of living crisis, all of which affected residents.


The Council’s housing stock was in good condition and the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) as seen at Appendix A to the report, outlined the considerable investments to be made to homes within the next five years. Referencing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47a


Council Tax 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 166 KB


(Proceedings resumed at 20:45)


The recommendations to the Council, as set out on pages 167 and 168 of the agenda and report pack, were duly moved and seconded and in accordance with the Council Procedure Rule 19.7, a recorded vote was taken, the result of which was as follows:


For (29)


Against (2)


Councillor Debbie Armiger

Councillor Martin Christopher


Councillor Biff Bean

Councillor Clare Smalley


Councillor Alan Briggs



Councillor Chris Burke



Councillor Sue Burke



Councillor Bob Bushell



Councillor Liz Bushell



Councillor David Clarkson



Councillor Thomas Dyer



Councillor Matthew Fido



Councillor Gary Hewson



Councillor Jackie Kirk



Councillor Rosanne Kirk



Councillor Jane Loffhagen



Councillor Rebecca Longbottom



Councillor Ric Metcalfe



Councillor Neil Murray



Councillor Donald Nannestad



Councillor Lucinda Preston



Councillor Hilton Spratt



Councillor Mark Storer



Councillor Rachel Storer



Councillor Edmund Strengiel



Councillor Naomi Tweddle



Councillor Pat Vaughan



Councillor Calum Watt



Councillor Joshua Wells



Councillor Emily Wood



Councillor Lorraine Woolley




The motion was declared carried.




That the following, as submitted, be approved:


(1)  Acceptance of the 3rd January 2023 Executive recommendation that the Council Tax Base for 2023/24, as calculated in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, to be £25,249.48.


(2)  That the following amounts be calculated for the year 2023/24 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:




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.                                                                                                          



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




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).




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).




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




being the amount at 2c) above less the amount at 2e) 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



City of Lincoln Council
























being the amounts given by multiplying the amount at 2f) 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  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47b


Prudential Indicators 2022-2023 - 2025/26 and Treasury Management Strategy 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Additional documents:


The recommendations to the Council, as set out on page 176 of the agenda and report pack, were duly moved and seconded.


On being put to the meeting, the motion set out above was declared carried.


RESOLVED that: -


(1)  The Treasury Management Strategy, including the Treasury Management Prudential Indicators and the Investment Strategy, as set out in section 3 and Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.


(2)  That the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy amended from 2022/23, as set out in section 4 to the report, be approved.


(3)  That the Treasury Management Practices, as set out at Appendix 5 to the report, be approved.



Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:


The recommendation to the Council, as set out on page 256 of the agenda and report pack, was duly moved and seconded.


On being put to the meeting, the motion set out above was declared carried.


RESOLVED that: -


The Pay Policy Statement, as set out at Appendix A to the report, be approved.



Independent Remuneration Panel-Comprehensive Review of the Members' Allowances Scheme pdf icon PDF 255 KB

Additional documents:


The recommendations to the Council, as set out on page 268 of the agenda and report pack, was duly moved and seconded.


On being put to the meeting, the motion set out above was declared carried.


RESOLVED that: -


(1)  An increase of 4.04% be applied to the existing basic allowance and special responsibility allowances from 1 April 2023.


(2)  The special responsibility allowance for the Chair of Audit Committee to attract the same special responsibility allowance as Scrutiny Committee Chairs.


(3)  That Schedule 3 – Travelling and Subsistence Allowances as detailed within the Member’s Allowances Scheme, be updated to reflect HMRC’s rates to 45p for the first 10,000 miles and 25p above 10,000 miles as detailed in Appendix B to the report.


(4)  That the Members’ Allowance Scheme, as detailed in the Council’s constitution, be amended accordingly to reflect the above resolutions by Council in respect of the basic allowance and special responsibility allowances.



Appointment of Deputy Electoral Registration Officer pdf icon PDF 116 KB


The recommendation to the Council, as set out on page 284 of the agenda and report pack, was duly moved and seconded.


On being put to the meeting, the motion set out above was declared carried.


RESOLVED that: -


(1)  That the Democratic Services and Elections Manager be appointed as the Deputy Electoral Registration Officer, with the full powers of the Electoral Registration Officer in their absence.



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


Report by Councillor Sue Burke, Portfolio Holder for Reducing Inequality pdf icon PDF 859 KB


Councillor Sue Burke, Portfolio Holder for Reducing Inequality, provided Council with an update on the work of her portfolio.


Councillor Burke reported that the dedication of Council employees and elected Members had been especially important during the past year due to the impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic and evolving cost of living crisis. Collectively, the support and service provided by the Council to its residents during this time were a great achievement and an achievement that the authority should be especially proud of.


The report set out some specific key achievements that had been accomplished throughout the year and provided details in respect of the following:


  • Welfare and Benefits Advice
  • Welfare Reform, Covid-19 and the Cost of Living Support
  • Housing Benefit / Council Tax Support
  • Discretionary Rate Relief Policy
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Safeguarding
  • Skills and Training (including Adult Learning and The Network)
  • Homelessness and Rough Sleeping
  • Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Neighbourhood Working
  • Equality and Diversity – Employer Perspective and Service User Perspective
  • Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour (PPASB Team)
  • CCTV Service
  • Lincoln Community Lottery
  • Lincoln Social Responsibility Charter
  • Holocaust Memorial Day
  • Looking Ahead


Councillor Burke concluded presentation of her report with a summary of what was to come over the coming municipal year. It was important to continue to provide vital services to those most in need and to continue to drive forward the reducing inequality agenda across the Council and the City.


Members expressed thanks to Councillor Sue Burke for her informative report and excellent work within the portfolio.


Question: Made reference to page 289, paragraph 3, ‘Protecting Vulnerable People’ training. Could the Portfolio Holder ensure that a training offer would be provided to all Members?


Response: The request would be followed up further to the meeting.


Comment: Further prevention for the issue of persistent dog fouling would be especially useful in the future.

Response: The comments regarding dog fouling were noted.


RESOLVED that the report be noted with thanks.