Venue: Committee Rooms 1-2, City Hall. View directions
Contact: Claire Turner, Democratic Services Officer (01522 873619)
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 10 January 2023 be confirmed.
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.
Health Scrutiny Update
The Chair of Policy Scrutiny Committee advised members that she would provide a Health Scrutiny update separately and circulate it to the committee.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Simon Walters, Director of Communities and Environment:
a) advised that on 20th February, Executive approved the transition to a new approach for ‘Christmas in Lincoln’, supplemented by an annual events programme throughout the rest of the year, to mitigate the economic impacts caused by the closure of the Christmas Market.
b) highlighted that this new approach would have a particular focus on ‘Christmas in Lincoln’ but offer a range of activities throughout the year to encourage footfall and spend. Executive were clear that the development of such a programme must be supported by a public and stakeholder engagement exercise to ensure all interested parties had an opportunity to comment and help shape the content.
c) referred to the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and advised that a deficit of £260,000 per annum was built in across the next five years for the Christmas market. This had been re-allocated to support both the new approach to ‘Christmas in Lincoln’ and a wider culture and events offer at other key times during the year.
d) stated that work had already commenced on the draft programme, but at this stage, the Committee were asked to offer a view on the process proposed, noting the tight timescales involved, rather than the content of the programme. A further report would be submitted to the Committee in June 2023 with further detail on the finalised programme.
e) welcomed the Committee’s comments and questions.
Question: What were the proposed activities?
Response: The main activities would include live music using local talent, food and drink, history, local produce as well as enhancing current events.
Question: How would there be notification of events to control duplication?
Response: The Safety Advisory Group advised people on ideas, safety and delivery. Event holders would also need to contact Highways, Police and the Fire Brigade when setting up an event.
Question: With regard to the 6-week Christmas period, when would it begin?
Response: It commenced from the Christmas Light Switch on up until the week between Christmas and New Year.
Question: What was the purpose of LCAP? Who was involved and how was it funded?
Response: It’s the Lincs Cultural Arts Partnership which consisted of the Lincoln University, City of Lincoln Council, Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire County Council and Lincoln Castle. The group helped to train people to set up events.
Question: Had the MTFS funding been guaranteed?
Response: The Council planned it over five years and the lost that would occur had been budgeted for. It had now moved into a new budget head but with the same classification as other budgets. There were significant challenges ahead and things would be subject to change depending on the financial position.
Question: Would the same type of stalls be involved in the events?
Response: The focus was on a small retail offer which will primarily focus on City Square and the farmers market in Castle Square. It wouldn’t be hugely focused on Christmas this year to keep the footfall at a minimum.
Question: What ... view the full minutes text for item 36.
Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager:
a) presented a report and presentation to the Committee summarising the outcome of three ‘member workshops’ that considered what the focus and content of the grounds maintenance, street cleansing and waste collection would be from September 2026 when the current arrangements end. The work was in advance of endorsement by Executive and the development of the new specifications.
b) explained that these contracts had been in place since 2006, and although variations had been made since that time, it was necessary and appropriate to carry out a full review of the specifications so that the services that were delivered from September 2026 reflected the Council’s strategic priorities, changes in legislation, and accepted best practice.
c) stated that all of the changes were against a background of ever-increasing demand on limited budgets and unpredictable inflation meaning that strategic priorities and aspirations had to be finely balanced with managing the potential for increased costs.
d) highlighted that the lead-time for procuring vehicles was currently two years, thus the need to start work now and to follow a challenging timeline from hereon.
e) welcomed comments and questions from Members of the Committee.
Question: If the budget could not be increased, what would be the potential impacts?
Response: The vast majority of collections would continue. Officers were looking at how things could be done differently, i.e. cleansing zones and how they could be managed more efficiently.
Question: How much leverage was there in the next three years before completion of the contract renewal (performance management)?
Response: There is a Performance Management Board that meets every three months and this will continue to monitor contract performance. Thought is being given to how the Council will implement separate paper and card collections and any other changes that might come about between now and September 2026.
Members thanked Officers for the very informative workshops and engagements that were carried out.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Francesca Bell, Assistant Director for Growth and Development:
a) presented a report to the Committee to consider the adoption of the Lincolnshire Districts Health and Wellbeing Strategy and associated action plan as a framework for improving health and wellbeing across the county.
b) explained that as part of the response to Covid-19, the seven Lincolnshire Districts developed a culture of working closely together to identify and address challenges. Since then, the districts had continued to embed this collaborative approach to both strategic and operational issues, with a particular focus on the role of district councils in addressing health inequalities.
c) stated that tackling health inequalities had been the subject of a significant pool of research in the past twenty years. In 2010, Michael Marmot conducted a landmark review (the Marmot Review) which concluded that health in England had a distinctive gradient: the lower one's social and economic status, the poorer one's health was likely to be. The original review argued that health inequality could be alleviated by acting within six policy areas and it foresaw Local Government as a pivotal partner in tackling the social determinants of ill-health. Marmot reviewed the situation again ten years later. Although the review noted that some local authorities had established effective approaches in addressing health inequality, it also found that for the first time since 1900, life expectancy and health outcomes were no longer rising across the board, and for some demographics, they were in decline. These same inequalities contributed to a high and unequal death toll from COVID-19, whilst the pandemic itself revealed both the tight coupling between health and the economy. In addition, the capacity for all levels of government and actors across sectors, to work together to address complex and urgent problems.
d) highlighted the roles of Lincolnshire district councils who were committed to developing an ambitious agenda for improving health and wellbeing in Lincolnshire. To achieve this, they were focusing on:
· a strategic, long-term approach to improving outcomes
· a sense of opportunity and ambition - District collaboration
· a holistic view based on social determinants
· developing system leadership.
e) advised that Districts were in a position, alongside partners, to take a proactive role at the pivotal stage for Lincolnshire in supporting the reshaping of policy, strategy, delivery and improving outcomes. Therefore in 2021, the seven districts collectively engaged PA Consulting to work alongside Leaders, Chief Executives and key officers in developing a county-wide District Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
f) referred to the 6 appendices within the report, specifically the District Health and Wellbeing Strategy, Presentation to the Partners Away Day and Output from Partner Away Day and advised the Committee that she would circulate them should they require the information.
g) welcomed comments and questions from Members of the Committee.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
The Democratic Services Officer:
a. presented the report ‘Policy Scrutiny Work Programme 2022-23 and Executive Work Programme Update’.
b. presented the Executive Work Programme March 2023 – February 2024.
c. requested Councillors to submit what items they wished to scrutinise from the Executive Work Programme and policies of interest.
d. invited members questions and comments.
Members made no further comments or suggestions regarding the Policy Scrutiny work programme.
1. The work Policy Scrutiny work programme be noted.
2. The Executive work programme be noted.