Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall
Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873387
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 August 2018 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.
Councillor Ronald Hills declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest with regard to the agenda item titled 'Portfolio Under Scrutiny-Economic Growth'. Reason: His property was located within the vicinity of the Western Growth Corridor. He left the room during the discussion of this item.
Councillor Ronald Hills declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest with regard to the agenda item titled 'Vision 2020- Economic Growth Progress Report'. Reason: His property was located within the vicinity of the Western Growth Corridor. He left the room during the discussion of this item.
Portfolio Holder under Scrutiny
Pat Jukes, Corporate Policy Business Manager:
a) gave a presentation outlining the performance of the Economic Growth Portfolio which included:
· contextual information on the corporate environment of the City of Lincoln Council, the following points were noted:
- there were 14 Brownfield sites in Lincoln as of August 2018
- there were an estimated 48,859 males and 49,579 females in Lincoln in 2017
- Lincolns median annual earnings for full time workers in 2017 was £23,001, this was a decrease of £1,434 when compared to 2016
- Lincolns median annual earnings for part time workers in 2017 was £8,925, this was a decrease of £652 when compared to 2016
- There were 7,665 women who enrolled at University of Lincoln and 6,435 males in 2016/17
· Highlighted the following key points:
- The population estimate for Lincoln for 2017 was 98,438 which was an increase of 643 when compared to the previous year and comprised 50.4% females and 49.6% males
- Both median annual earnings for full time workers and part time workers decreased as reported in 2017 survey
- The JobCentre Plus was reporting 651 vacancies in august 2018, of which 84% were full time and 16% part time
- The number of microbusinesses had grown substantially over the last 5 years, helping drive the total number of businesses up to 2535
- In 2017 Lincoln saw an increase of 2.9% visitors from 2016, bringing a 7.1% positive economic effect, including an increase of 3.5% in direct employment
b) invited members comments and questions
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Councillor Ronald Hills left the room during the discussion of the Western Growth Corridor after he’d declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest.
Councillor Neil Murray, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth:
a) presented a report which highlighted the following:
· Western Growth Corridor
· Parking and Transport
· Planning Policy
· Higher Education
· Supporting Lincoln Businesses
· Park Ward Regeneration
b) invited members comments and questions.
Councillor Ronald Hills returned to the room once the discussion on the Western Growth Corridor had ended.
Question: What was the reason for the decrease in salaries for part time workers?
Response: Over the last few years NHS jobs had paid a lower rate than the public sector in order to cut costs. A lot of jobs had become insecure in the private sector.
Question: Could the jobs being advertised at the Job Centre be calculated on contract length?
Response: Officers agreed to see what information could be sourced from the Job Centre and report back to committee
Question: How would the City of Lincoln Council ensure that quality houses were being built?
Response: Officers advised that the properties that would be build would be of a good size and quality unlike other houses that were built in the city
Question: How could assets be reserved within the Council e.g. the Guildhall?
Response: The City of Lincoln Council received a lot of support from English Heritage. It was suggested that perhaps the upper level of the Guildhall could be used for functions.
Question: What capacity of the Managed Workspace was full? Could more businesses be taken on if it wasn’t?
Response: There had always been high occupancy rates. North Greetwell was always 90% full.
Question: What could the Council do to bring more visitors into the city?
Response: It had become more difficult due to change in habits i.e. online shopping. The peak times of the year for visitors were generally August and May bank holiday. The redevelopment on Sincil Street had a very positive effect on the city so far. Working alongside Lincoln BIG and the Police, officers were working hard on trying to combat drug addiction in the city.
Question: Were there any long term plans for more resources in deprived wards?
Response: More community work was key. The next 2/3 years would be the focal point.
Question: Were all businesses paying the living wage?
RESOLVED that the content of the report be noted.
Councillor Ronald Hills left the room during the discussion on the Western Growth Corridor after he’d declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest.
Gill Wilson, Principal Development Officer:
a) provided Performance Scrutiny Committee with an update on the progress towards the Let’s drive economic growth strategic priority in Vision 2020
b) explained that it was agreed that the committee would receive a report each quarter from one of these Vision Groups to enable them to look in more detail at the progress of the Vision Groups work programme.
c) highlighted the council’s aspirations which covered the following:
· Let’s build a strong, viable and prosperous future for Lincoln
· Let’s help businesses prosper
· Let’s create a culture of innovation
· Let’s attract investment
· Let’s make things happen
d) detailed the key achievements over the past year which covered the following:
· The Transport Hub
· Western Growth Corridor Development
· Lincoln Central Market
· Infrastructure Development
· Promotion of Lincoln
e) Invited members comments and questions.
Question: When would the consultation on the Western Growth Corridor be published to members?
Response: Hopefully as soon as possible but before the 8th November.
Question: Was there a page on the City of Lincoln Council website to update members of public on the progress of the Western Growth Corridor?
Response: There hadn’t been any major progress lately so there had been no updates on the website.
Councillor Ronald Hills returned to the room once the discussion on the Western Growth Corridor had ended
RESOLVED that the content of the report be noted.
Simon Colburn, Assistant Director for Health and Environmental Services:
a) updated members on the progress made with letting stalls for the 2018 Christmas Market and the associated income
b) explained that there were currently 170 stalls with 146 traders already fully paid
c) highlighted that some of the remaining 28 stalls were currently under negotiation but had yet to be confirmed.
d) Stated that the overall budget income from stall fee’s for the 2018 market was £417,190
e) invited members comments and questions
Question: How were the 18 vacant stalls going to be filled?
Response: Expressions of interest would be submitted to the events team. They were compared against other applications that had been received to ensure that there was a blend of different stalls.
Question: Did the City of Lincoln Council make a profit from the Christmas market?
Response: The target was always met in the MTFS (Medium Term Financial Strategy)
Question: Did the Council try and obtain any sponsorship for the Christmas market?
Response: Yes. A tender went out to a marketing company which closed on Friday 28th September. It was the second time the Council had gone out to tender for this. 8 expressions of interest were received however there were unfortunately no bids. The Procurement manager was going to contact the companies to find out the reasons behind why they decided not to put a bid in for it.
Question: Was there any allowance made by the Lincolnshire County Council for gritting the roads if it snowed in the run up or during the Christmas market?
Response: The Lincolnshire County Council had the responsibility of gritting all of the footpaths in the Bailgate area however the contract had altered slightly. Fixed prices were now put in place and it had been agreed that wider areas i.e. Scampton were gritted due to it being a major bus route for visitors attending the Christmas market.
Question: Had the Christmas market organised by Lincolnshire County Council this year had an effect on ours?
Response: There appears to have been some reluctance from traders in committing to the new market this year as they wanted to see how successful the first one was. As a result of this, the Castle had struggled to fill the Emporium so far.
Question: If the market hosted by Lincolnshire County Council was unsuccessful, could it lead to partnership working with the City of Lincoln?
Response: Hopefully, although the Lincolnshire County Council were aware that the City of Lincoln carried out all of the work.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Jess Cullen, Democratic Services Officer:
RESOLVED that the work programme 2018/19 as detailed at Appendix A to the report be noted.