Agenda item

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


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




Can the executive member provide council with an update on the impact of Lincoln’s air quality, with reference to pollution hotspots such as Lindum Hill, following the opening of the Lincoln Eastern by-pass?




The Lincoln Eastern bypass had opened on 19 December 2020 so a full year of monitoring data since the bypass opened was now available.  The Council monitored both nitrogen dioxide and particulates smaller than 10 microns (PM10).


The monitoring data had shown there had been a significant reduction in roadside pollution levels from 2019 to 2021 at the sites the Council monitored.  However, there were a number of factors that could have influenced the decrease on top of the opening of the Eastern Bypass, including the Covid-19 response measures during 2021 and the closure of Pelham Bridge for several weeks during 2021.  The extent of the reductions due to the opening of the Lincoln Eastern Bypass would become clearer once all 2022 air quality data was available (assuming pandemic restrictions were not re-introduced).  Additionally, there would be other issues that the council was currently unable to quantify, such as whether the opening of the bypass had changed traffic routes, therefore creating new air pollution hotspots elsewhere.  The Council would continue to work with Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways department to establish whether this was the case.


Councillor Christopher Reid to Councillor Bob Bushell, Portfolio Holder for Remarkable Place




Can the portfolio holder provide Council with the details of fly-tipping statistics that lead to formal and informal action?




527 reports of fly tipping on the public highway and 165 reports of fly tipping on council owned land had been received since 1 April 2021.  These figures did not include collections that had been requested by Customer Services, Community Services or proactive collections undertaken by Biffa. 


Any reports where the incident had been witnessed, or where cases had evidence, were fully investigated by the team and a decision would be made dependent on the evidence available as to the action which would be taken. However, there were many occasions when the team received reports in relation to fly tipped mattress, fridges or sofas and there had been no witnesses or evidence.  In these cases it would result in no further enforcement action being able to be taken.


Informal action may take the form of advice and verbal warnings, where it could be reasonably expected that informal action would achieve compliance. Officers within the team would carry out investigations and these might reveal an incident which could be deemed as fly tipping.  However, on occasions it might have been due to a genuine lack of understanding in relation to the illegal deposit of waste.  The use of informal action was a frequent occurrence whilst carrying out their duties and would involve discussing presentation and providing educational information in relation to the disposal.


Formal action would be taken where appropriate, and these would include the use of Community Protection Warnings / Notices, Fixed Penalty Notices or Prosecution.


The Portfolio Holder presented the figures contained within the table below.



April 2021 to February 2022

Community Protection Warnings/Community Protection Notices


Fixed Penalty Notices





It was emphasised that a phased approach to enforcement should be undertaken so prosecution would generally be initiated in circumstances where there appeared to be a blatant disregard for the law by a business, or due to the seriousness and scale of the fly-tipping offence.  Circumstances that were likely to warrant prosecution included offences committed by businesses, fly-tipping of hazardous material, large scale deposits of waste or significant multiple loads or multiple offenders, however, this would be dependent on evidence.


Councillor Alan Briggs to Councillor Neil Murray, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth




Following last week's council meeting, is the executive member now aware of the Charterfields Board?




Yes, the Board, which was made up of senior officers of the Council and senior officers of Lindum Group, was part of the governance framework for the more strategic decision making for the proposed development of the western growth corridor.


Councillor Mark Storer to Councillor Donald Nannestad, Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing


Is it acceptable for recently homeless individuals to be housed in City Council properties that do not even have carpet?




The majority of the properties that were used on a temporary basis for homeless households were already carpeted.  As this temporary accommodation was relet, in preparation for its further temporary use, checks were carried out and properties were carpeted if needed. In addition, the council relets several hundred properties on permanent tenancies each year and funding was not sufficient to provide carpets for all of these, however where carpets from the previous tenant were of sufficient quality and cleanliness then they would be left in place for the new tenant.  The Housing Solutions and Allocations Teams do provide signposting to relevant charities that may be able to assist new tenants to furnish their properties.


Councillor Matthew Fido to Councillor Sue Burke, Portfolio Holder for Reducing Inequality




Can the executive member update council on how the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy will support people for the financial year 2022-23?




The City of Lincoln Council had been allocated £2.7m in Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) to help support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that were ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.  Businesses who may potentially be eligible for the CARF had recently been contacted, with a deadline of 31 March 2022 for applications to be submitted, after which applications would be assessed as soon as possible.


Also, the Council had introduced a Business Rates Growth Policy in 2018, to assist businesses moving into premises in the City or those looking to expand to potentially receive a discretionary relief from their business rates for up to three years.  This Policy had remained in place, and the Council’s Revenues and Benefits Shared Service would continue to work closely with Major Developments to identify businesses who may benefit from this rates relief.


Councillor Bill Mara to Councillor Sue Burke, Portfolio Holder for Reducing Inequality




How is the City Council working with partner organisations to boost the Skills and Training outcomes for those in Lincoln, with reference to the unemployed?




The Council had been working across a range of service areas with a number of public sector, private sector and voluntary organisations to boost skills and training opportunities for the unemployed, which had included:


-          Town Deal funded projects including digital skills and tourism / hospitality related training.

-          Community based projects with Abbey Access centre, Lincoln City Foundation, Network and others with the neighbourhood team.

-          Housing Repairs Service was working with Lincoln College on construction related trades / skills development and training.


Councillor Hilton Spratt to Councillor Bob Bushell, Portfolio Holder for Remarkable Place




Can the executive member provide an update on the council’s aim to hit net zero by 2030?




The Council’s Executive had recently approved the Decarbonisation Strategy and Action Plan, which set out how the Council would work towards achieving net zero carbon by 2030 for its organisational emissions.  The Council’s Environmental Performance was externally audited on an annual basis by Investors in the Environment and a copy of the latest annual report could be found online.


For Lincoln’s area wide climate action and ambition to achieve net zero carbon the Council had prepared a draft Lincoln 2030 Strategy and Action Plan with its partners on the Lincoln Climate Commission, which was scheduled to go out to public consultation in May 2022 and due to be completed by Autumn 2022.  A report providing a detailed review of progress would be produced and published annually to report progress towards the net zero carbon target for Lincoln.