Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 30th January, 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - South Kesteven House, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ. View directions

Contact: Jo Toomey 

Items
No. Item

Chairman's Engagements - updated

Members of the Council stood to observe a few moments silence in memory of Peter Spiegl, a former Council Chairman, and Nicholas Parsons, who had been born in Grantham, both of whom had recently passed away.

 

71.

Public Open Forum

    The public open forum will commence at 1.00 p.m. and the following formal business of the Council will commence at 1.30 p.m. or whenever the public open forum ends, if earlier.

    Minutes:

    Question 1

     

    Question to: Councillor Kelham Cooke, the Leader of the Council

    From: Louise Horsfall

     

    “Please can you confirm when the new Margret Thatcher statue will be installed?”

     

    The Leader of the Council stated that as there were a number of different parties involved it was not currently possible to provide a definite date. He did, however, confirm that it would be later in 2020.

     

    Question 2

     

    Question to: Councillor Kelham Cooke, the Leader of the Council

    From: Louise Horsfall

     

    Please can you confirm what will be the approximate cost to the public purse for any celebration events being organized for the new statue?”

     

    In his response, the Leader expressed a commitment to transparency regarding the cost of any such event. He added that he anticipated that the costs would be met by external private funding. Cost would be balanced against potential benefits of commemorating a famous person from Grantham. It was expected that the unveiling of the statue would attract a large number of people, whilst the statue itself would provide a longer-term benefit by making Grantham a visitor destination and supporting the town’s museum. Reference was also made to wider regeneration work that was being planned to promote inspirational women from the town, including Edith Smith and Harriet Arbuthnot.

     

    Ms Horsfall asked a supplementary question about the cost of security and policing for the unveiling of the statue. The Leader stated that the scale and scope of the unveiling had yet to be confirmed. It was noted that the costs of security and policing would be dependent on the person who unveiled the statue. Any event would be subject to a full health and safety assessment and project plan. He concluded by stating that more information would be made available in the public domain as it came forward.

     

    Question 3

     

    Question to: Councillor Kelham Cooke, the Leader of the Council

    From: Vi King

     

    “Could the council explain why we continue to have InvestSK with a CEO of £100k? Shouldn’t the council be encouraging investment into the area without using a third party. Wouldn’t that money be best used to reduce the precept for the people of the area?”

     

    The Leader answered the question by stating that InvestSK continued to provide valued services to existing and prospective businesses including those looking to move their operation into the district. He highlighted the commitment that the council had made to encourage businesses to come to the district because of the positive impact it had on the economy. He explained that as a private company, InvestSK was able to build strong relationships with commercial companies.

     

    The Leader referred to the Council’s proposed budget for 2020/21, which would see a reduction in the budget envelope for InvestSK and related activities to approximately £800k. This would be reflected through the focusing of the company’s activities on economic development and inward investment, stating that the outcomes the company had achieved demonstrated the value that it had brought to the district. Finally, the Leader clarified  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.

72.

Apologies for Absence

73.

Disclosure of Interests

74.

Minutes of the meeting held on 28 November 2019 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

75.

Communications (including Chairman's Announcements) pdf icon PDF 96 KB

75a

South Kesteven - Best Kept Village

    Presentation to the winners of the best kept village in South Kesteven competition

    Minutes:

    The Chairman welcomed representatives from the parishes who had won certificates in the South Kesteven Best Kept Village competition.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations explained that the competition ran alongside that run by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE). In doing so he referred to the CPRE officer who had spearheaded the competition; he had fallen ill during the year and passed away. Tribute was paid to the work that he had done, and condolences were expressed for his family and friends.

     

    Members of the Council were invited to congratulate the winners and runners-up as they were presented with their certificates:

     

    Best kept village:

     

    ·         Winner: Deeping St. James

    ·         Runner-up: Kirkby Underwood

     

    Past winners’ category:

     

    ·         Winner: Barrowby

    ·         Runner-up: Claypole

75b

Budget Council - change of date

    Minutes:

    The Council was asked for consent to change the date of its next meeting, at which the Council’s budget would be considered. The Cabinet Member for Finance explained that the change was needed because the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner had not been able to confirm that its precept information would be available for 27 February, the date on which the meeting was originally scheduled. This was proposed, seconded and on being put to the vote it was AGREED:

     

    The date of the Budget Council meeting should move from 1pm on Thursday 27 February 2020 to 1pm on Monday 2 March 2020.

76.

Appointment of Chief Executive pdf icon PDF 189 KB

    Report of the Chairman of the Employment Committee

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council introduced the report of the Employment Committee, which recommended that the Council appoint Karen Bradford as its Chief Executive. He gave an overview of the recruitment process, which had been led by Solace and included two days of rigorous interviews and tests. He said that the Council was fortunate to have a good field of candidates from which to choose but it had been clear that Ms. Bradford had the skills, experience, character and approach that were suited to the role. he also referred to her exemplary record of achievement, particularly in respect of growth, development and change; she also had a history of bringing people on the journey with her. Her experience included a period as Deputy Chief Executive at North Kesteven District Council and most recently as Chief Executive at Gedling Borough Council. He advised members that the decision of the Employment Committee had been unanimous.

     

    The Leader also expressed his thanks to Paul Thomas, who had taken on the role of Interim Chief Executive, thanking him for his continued support and loyalty both personally and professionally.

     

    The Leader concluded by proposing the recommendations in the report, which were seconded by the leader of the Independent Group as a demonstration of the cross-party support for the chosen candidate. He stated that he too had found Ms. Bradford to be an outstanding candidate and reiterated how thorough and rigorous the selection process had been. He also stated that the answers she had provided during her interviews had indicated that she would be a Chief Executive that acted in the best interests of all the political groups within the Council.

     

    During debate, a number of members expressed their gratitude to Mr. Thomas for taking on the role on an interim basis, praising the way he had conducted himself and responded to the challenge professionally and fairly, referring to specific encounters that they had enjoyed.

     

    Without questioning the merits of this appointment, one Member who spoke on the proposition asked that in any recruitment in the future should include consideration of internal candidates. He expressed the belief that the council had some good officers and internal appointments would provide opportunities for the development of the existing officer body.

     

    Members that spoke also stated that they looked forward to welcoming the new Chief Executive. One Councillor made a comment that he felt careful consideration should be given to the development opportunities for the new Chief Executive, referring training that had been undertaken by a previous Chief Executive that had been delivered by an American university.

     

    In summing up, the Leader stated that he wanted to see the Chief Executive do well and take the opportunities for development that were presented to them and the learning that they could in turn bring back to the organisation. The Leader reiterated that Karen Bradford would be a Chief Executive for every member of the Council.

     

    On being put to the vote it was unanimously AGREED:

     

    The Council approves the permanent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.

77.

Adoption of the South Kesteven Local Plan pdf icon PDF 242 KB

    Report of the Cabinet Member for Planning.

     

    Please note that due to the size of the appendices to this report, they are available to view on the Council’s website at http://moderngov.southkesteven.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=261&MId=3822&Ver=4 or via the modern.gov app. If you require a hard copy of these documents, please contact the Democratic Services Team.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning explained that it was a legal requirement for every Local Planning Authority to set out the development policies of an area in its Local Plan. Adopting the plan would bring assurance and transparency and provides an indication of how the Council intends to ensure high quality and affordable housing within the district and balancing sustainable growth and protecting heritage.

     

    Members’ attention was brought to the report published by the Planning Inspector, which confirmed that the draft Plan satisfied the requirements of s25 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and the criteria for soundness that were set out in the National Planning Policy Framework provided that modifications were made. The required modifications were attached to the report provided with the agenda for Members’ information.

     

    Members were advised that the Plan had been subject to rigorous consultation. The Cabinet Member stated that during the Plan period 18,846 dwellings should come forward. He explained that at the heart of the Plan was a desire to make the district a better place to live, work and invest. He cautioned that if the Council decided not to adopt the Plan, then the Council would be forced to start the process again, losing the work of the last few years.

     

    The Cabinet Member concluded his speech by thanking the Members and officers who had been involved in the development and preparation of the plan over the years and proposed the recommendations that were in the report circulated with the agenda. The proposition was seconded.

     

    Other Members who spoken on the Plan praised the work that had been put into its development, recognising members across the Council, including the Cabinet Members who had overseen the work, together with the officers.

     

    During debate, other points that were raised included:

     

    ·         The removal of Kettering Road, Stamford as an allocated site and subsequent clarification that this had been removed because there was already a live planning consent for the site

    ·         Concern about proposals for affordable housing, noting specifically the 20% requirement for Grantham and site-specific requirements that were below the 30% requirement elsewhere in the district

    ·         Support that a ‘one size fits all’ approach for affordable housing would not provide any flexibility

    ·         The climate emergency that had been declared by the Council and a desire to see measures that would help the Council combat climate change through development

    ·         The potential impact of Rutland County Council seeking to take 650 houses that formed part of the Stamford North development back into its allocation

    ·         Projections for growth and the need for appropriate health infrastructure and public services to support that

    ·         Training on the Local Plan for members of the Planning Committee, to which all members of the Council would be invited

    ·         Concerns about a lack of provision of social housing that was affordable for Grantham people with below-average incomes

    ·         The implications of not adopting the Local Plan as presented

    ·         The early review of the Local Plan that would begin to which the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

78.

Updated Contract Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 194 KB

    Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    In presenting his report on proposed changes to the contract procedure rules, the Cabinet Member for Finance informed Members that since April 2019, South Kesteven District Council had been a member of Welland Procurement. The proposed changes would bring the Council’s own rules in line with Welland’s. The changes also recognised different ways of working, including electronic tendering systems as well as working with procurement frameworks. The recommendation in the report was proposed and seconded.

     

    One comment was made during debate, asking whether the directors of Council-owned companies would adopt the updated contract procedure rules as good practice for the use of public money. The comment was noted.

     

    On the taking of the vote, it was unanimously AGREED:

     

    The Council approves the updated Contract Procedure Rules as set out at Appendix A of the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance

79.

Review of Financial Regulations pdf icon PDF 198 KB

    Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Finance proposed the recommendations in his report on the review of the Council’s Financial Regulations. In so doing, Members were advised that the Financial Regulations were last reviewed in 2016. This review had seen them updated to reflect best practice and a robust financial control framework. He stated that the proposed Financial Regulation had been benchmarked against those of other councils. He highlighted one change, which was about changes to in-year budget amendments with thresholds for Cabinet and Council approval. The proposition was seconded.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Finance was asked to what extent the Financial Regulations of the council-owned companies reflected those that were before Council. In summing up, the Cabinet Member for Finance stated that it was for each company to set its own, which would be brought before Members of the Council at the Companies Committee.

     

    When it was put to the vote, it was AGREED:

     

    The Council approves the Updated Financial Regulations as set out at Appendix A of the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance

80.

Updates from the Leader of the Council

80a

Members of the Cabinet and the Leader's scheme of delegation

    The Leader to announce changes to his scheme of delegation for the Cabinet

    Minutes:

    The Leader stated that there had been changes to his Cabinet. He thanked both Councillors Goral and Robins for their contributions and announced the changes to the Cabinet’s membership and Cabinet Members’ remits.

     

    ·         Councillor Kelham Cooke – Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and transformation

    ·         Councillor Barry Dobson – Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Growth and Leisure

    ·         Councillor Robert Reid – Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning

    ·         Councillor Rosemary Trollope-Bellew – Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy

    ·         Councillor Adam Stokes – Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

    ·         Councillor Annie Mason – Cabinet Member for Communities

    ·         Councillor Dr. Peter Moseley – Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations

     

    One Member suggested that the Cabinet would be more representative if it included a member who was not part of the administration and asked the Leader to consider this when making future appointments. The Leader responded by saying that the Council was a Conservative-controlled Council. He spoke of the opportunities for members of the other groups to get involved, including bringing forward motions, speaking at Cabinet meetings and welcoming scrutiny and debate.

     

    The Leader also announced that as she was now a member of the Cabinet, Councillor Mason’s seat on the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee would be filled by Councillor John Dawson. He also announced that Councillor Adam Stokes would be replacing Councillor Helen Goral on the Employment Committee.

80b

Leader's Report on Urgent Decisions

80c

Meetings of the Cabinet approved since the last Council Meeting pdf icon PDF 190 KB

    Report of the Leader of the Council

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the Cabinet meeting 10 December 2019 were included in the agenda papers for the meeting for Members’ information.

     

    The final paragraph of the minutes that had been circulated referred to behaviours of Members in meeting, welcoming open questions and constructive criticism and condoning personal attacks. Support was expressed for this principle.

     

    In response to a question about the feasibility study and likely timescales for the new Deepings leisure centre, the Deputy Leader said that discussions were ongoing but he could not provide dates at this time. He also said that a working group had been formed, including three local councillors. The Cabinet Member said that he was keen to push the matter forward and to consider matters around the playing field at the same time.

81.

Members' Open Questions

    A 45-minute period in which members may ask questions of the Leader, Cabinet Members, the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees and opposition group leaders excluding the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Planning Committee, Licensing and Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing Committees and Governance and Audit Committee.

    Minutes:

    Question 1

     

    Councillor Dilks referred to commitments that had previously been made by the Leader with regard to the webcasting of Council meetings and asked for an update. The Leader stated that the budget paperwork that would come before the Council on 2 March 2020 included an allocation for the refurbishment of the main offices. Part of that budget would include some refurbishment of facilities in South Kesteven House including microphones and webcasting.

     

    Question 2

     

    Councillor Bisnauthsing asked about an ongoing consultation which proposed closing the district council area office at Maiden Lane, Stamford. He spoke about residents who wanted face-to-face contact. The Leader, in responding, said that the consultation related to both Stamford and Market Deeping. He said that habits were changing and the consultation was about ensuring access to a good quality service. Potential options included making use of alternative facilities, as the current area office was in poor condition and of high rental value. Alternatives could include Stamford Arts Centre and sharing space in Stamford Town Hall. The feedback from the consultation would be reviewed and any decision would take this into account.

     

    Question 3

     

    Councillor Wheeler asked the Cabinet Member for Growth and Leisure for an update in relation to Stamford leisure centre. The Cabinet Member said that he was not in a position to give an update at this time but he would be going along to the leisure centre in the coming week. Consideration would then be given as to whether the existing facility should be upgraded or a new facility provided.

     

    Question 4

     

    Councillor Knowles referred to the Bourne Cycle Festival and asked the Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy about progress made for the 2020 festival and when consultation on the event would take place.

     

    The Cabinet Member said that the festival was being considered by the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting in February 2020. She said that it looked like the festival would not be going ahead in 2020, but if the Bourne Wheelers were interested in running an event themselves, the Council could provide support to help pull something together.

     

    Question 5

     

    Councillor Morgan asked whether the Council would be getting a further briefing on the impacts of the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union on the residents and businesses in South Kesteven as well as the anticipated impact on the Council.

     

    The Leader stated that the matter was monitored on a rolling basis by the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum. He stated that he was happy for the Chief Executive to supply Members with a briefing document about the position both in respect of the Council and wider impacts within Lincolnshire.

     

    Question 6

     

    Councillor Lee referred to a question that he had asked at the meeting on 28 November 2019 about the Council’s Independent Persons. He said that he had been promised a response outside the meeting but had not yet received an answer. The Leader stated that the Monitoring Officer sent an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

82.

Notices of Motion given under Article 4.9:

82a

Councillor Ray Wootten

    The Healthy Conversation closed on the 31st October 2019. It is now over three years since Grantham Hospital was closed overnight as a temporary measure. Councillors, campaign groups and residents across the district have marched on several rallies, delivered petitions to Downing Street and, have attended board meetings to call on ULHT and the South West Lincolnshire CCG to re-open Grantham A&E 24/7.

     

    Councillors call on the Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Councillor Kelham Cooke to write to John Turner, Accountable Officer (joint role with South West Lincolnshire CCG) and Andrew Morgan Chief Executive United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust to:

    1.    Call on them to publish the results of the Healthy Conversation as soon as possible.

     

    2.    Go out to public consultation with their preferred options for the future of Grantham Hospital

     

    3.    Re-open Grantham A & E 24/7

    Minutes:

    Councillor Wootten proposed his motion:

    The Healthy Conversation closed on the 31st October 2019. It is now over three years since Grantham Hospital was closed overnight as a temporary measure.

     

    Councillors, campaign groups and residents across the district have marched on several rallies, delivered petitions to Downing Street and, have attended board meetings to call on ULHT and the South West Lincolnshire CCG to re-open Grantham A&E 24/7.

     

    Councillors call on the Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Councillor Kelham Cooke to write to John Turner, Accountable Officer (joint role with South West Lincolnshire CCG) and Andrew Morgan Chief Executive United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust to:

     

    1.    Call on them to publish the results of the Healthy Conversation as soon as possible.

    2.    Go out to public consultation with their preferred options for the future of Grantham Hospital

    3.    Re-open Grantham A & E 24/7

     

    In proposing the motion, Councillor Wootten referred to the treatment that he had received in Grantham Hospital and thanked the doctors and nurses who had looked after him. Reference was made to the number of days since Grantham hospital’s accident and emergency department was closed as a temporary measure. He referred to the public reaction to the closure, the formation of campaign groups and local rallies and the presentation of petition at Downing Street. Reference was also made to cross-party support from both South Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire County Council for the reinstatement of services. The department had been closed pending the recruitment of additional middle-grade doctors, however the unit did not re-open. United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and the Clinical Commissioning Group were being called on to publish their plans for the hospital. This was supported by local MPs and the Leader of Lincolnshire County Council. He referred to historic meetings where plans for the future of the hospital had been discussed, including provision of a bespoke solution and creating a centre for excellence for day surgery. Reference was also made to the Healthy Conversation consultation, which came to Grantham to seek the views of residents, when the plan appeared to be turning the accident and emergency department into an urgent care centre with 24-hour access by dialling 111; this was not considered to be acceptable. Councillor Wootten asked that the views of residents to leave the hospital alone be taken heed of and asked all Councillors to support the motion.

     

    The motion was seconded when reference was made to the range of personal testimonies about the service that had been provided by Grantham’s accident and emergency department through the years. He felt that it was important for the results of the Healthy Conversation to be published as soon as possible. Concerns were expressed as there had been an indication that no plans would be subject to consultation until funding issues had been resolved and, given that the approximate capital shortfall of £80 million, when that would realistically be. Reference was also made to an anticipated £250 million backlog in maintenance at the three hospital  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82a

82b

Councillor Charmaine Morgan

    South Kesteven District Council commits, that in the 2020 Core Strategy, it will identify and ring fence suitable land for the use of gypsies and travellers, as recommended in an SKDC survey of gypsy and traveller needs in 2005, and, more recently by Planning Inspector in 2019. 

     

    SKDC will work with representatives of the gypsy and traveller communities to identify what land and associated amenities are most suitable to meet their needs. 

    Minutes:

    Councillor Morgan asked for the consent of the Council to change the wording under consideration from that which was included with the agenda pack to a version that was circulated at the meeting. Council indicated its consent by way of a show of hands.

     

    Councillor Morgan proposed her motion:

     

    South Kesteven District Council complies with the Equality Act 2010 and opposes all forms of discrimination and prejudice against individuals or groups defined as being protected under the Act. This Council recognises that historically persecuted and stigmatised, gypsies and travellers are protected under the Act and other Human Rights legislation.

     

    In compliance with the Act, as a public body, SKDC will provide gypsies and travellers the same access to land allocated for their homes as it affords other residents whilst paying due regard to their specific needs and circumstances. 

     

    Extensive research completed nationally, across the East Midlands, and within SKDC, highlights a shortage of land allocated for gypsy and traveller, permanent and temporary pitches. As a result these protected communities cannot access the same public services used by other residents, including healthcare and education. This is detrimental to their health, wellbeing and economic prospects. 

     

    Gypsies and travellers have used unauthorised and often sub- standard in sanitary sites as a means of overcoming the shortage of authorised allocated sites. This has led to conflict with other communities and been counter productive to reducing the prejudice against them. 

     

    New government plans to criminalise those who trespass with two or more vehicles make it all the more important appropriate authorised sites are provided urgently by local authorities, including South Kesteven District Council. 

     

    This council has developed a Local Plan which will allocate land for significant development across the District. It recognises the rights of the gypsy and Traveller communities to also have their housing needs met with allocated sites. For the avoidance of discrimination this Council will identify, and allocate within its local plan and other relevant planning documentation land for the use of gypsies and travellers, as recommended in an SKDC survey of gypsy and traveller needs in 2005, and, more recently by Planning Inspector in 2019. 

     

    SKDC will work with representatives of the gypsy and traveller communities to identify what land and associated amenities are most suitable to meet their needs, and, will provide properly serviced authorised permanent and temporary 'transit' sites as required no later than 2021.

     

    This council will commit to regularly reviewing gypsy and traveller needs, building potential growth into all future Local Plans and Core Strategy.

     

    In proposing her motion, Councillor Morgan referred to research which indicated that there was no consistent approach to the provision of sites for gypsies and travellers nationally. She stated that Newark and Sherwood, North Kesteven and West Lindsey district councils and Lincoln City Council had all allocated sites and made provision for both permanent and transit pitches for gypsies, travellers and show people. She said that she did not believe South Kesteven District Council’s reliance on windfall sites was working. She also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82b

82c

Councillor Charmaine Morgan

    South Kesteven District Council commits to supporting our High Streets recognising the important roles they play in our communities. 

     

    At the forefront of our High Streets are businesses. People who have invested their time and money in our District. South Kesteven District Council recognises they need our full support particularly in view of the competition they face from online providers. 

     

    SKDC will improve its website so our High Streets and retail centres are fully promoted on it. 

     

    Every High Street retailer and service provider will be given the opportunity to provide details of their business and photographs. It will include links to business Facebook pages, and websites. 

     

    The site will link address details to a map of each High Street and retail area. The maps will also link to details of available:

     

    ·         Car parks (with any costs/time restrictions visible) 

    ·         Public toilets

    ·         Baby change facilities

    ·         Disabled toilets

    ·         Bus stops and train stations

    ·         Defibrillator locations

    ·         Leisure amenities

    ·         Libraries

    ·         Public call boxes

    ·         Churches

    ·         Museums

    ·         Theatres

    ·         Pubs

    ·         Cafes

    ·         Restaurants

    ·         Takeaways

    ·         Tourist attractions

    ·         Parks

     

    In addition the site will include a 'What's On' Noticeboard enabling local organisations and businesses to promote events/special events across the District on a calendar. The promotion will be free to all businesses to offer parity and enable all to benefit.

    Minutes:

    Councillor Morgan had given written notice that she had withdrawn her motion on high streets.

82d

Councillor Phil Dilks

    Despite public assurances given almost a year ago to a previous meeting of this Council in response to residents’ questions regarding lack of heating and hot water in council owned properties at Riverside, Grantham, recent reports in the Grantham Journal reveal that the issue has still not been resolved and that residents fear another winter with the heating and hot water turned off.

     

    I understand that the Council is now working to resolve this issue Council at the earliest possible date.

     

    However, Council agrees that the situation over the past year has been totally unacceptable for our residents, many of whom are elderly and some of the most vulnerable in our society. 

     

    As such, this Council agrees to:

     

    1.    Urgently publish a full schedule of action with key delivery times including a firm date of when this issue will be finally resolved

     

    2.    Launch an urgent inquiry into what has gone wrong to learn lessons so other residents may avoid a similar fate in future

     

    Consider making an ex-gratia payment of up to £500 for each tenant affected to be paid before Christmas 2019.

    Minutes:

    Councillor Dilks asked for the consent of the Council to amend the wording of his motion from that printed in the agenda pack. Council gave its consent to the change by way of a show of hands and Councillor Dilks proposed:

     

    Despite public assurances given almost a year ago to a previous meeting of this Council in response to residents’ questions regarding lack of heating and hot water in council owned properties at Riverside, Grantham, recent reports in the Grantham Journal reveal that the issue has still not been resolved and that residents fear another winter with the heating and hot water turned off.

     

    I understand that the Council is now working to resolve this issue at the earliest possible date.

     

    However, Council agrees that the situation over the past year has been totally unacceptable for our residents, many of whom are elderly and some of the most vulnerable in our society.

     

    As such, this Council agrees to:

     

    1.    Urgently publish a full schedule of action with key delivery times including a firm date of when this issue will be finally resolved

    2.    Launch an urgent inquiry into what has gone wrong to learn lessons so other residents may avoid a similar fate in future

    3.    Urgently considers making appropriate ex-gratia payments to each tenant affected

    4.    Publishes the findings of the independent inquiry and any recommendations in full at the earliest opportunity

     

    Councillor Dilks, in proposing his motion referred to an article that was published in the Grantham Journal in January 2019 which referred to the issues at Riverside. He also referred to the discovery of asbestos and the impact that had. He also asked for further information about the independent inquiry. The motion was seconded.

     

    The former Cabinet Member for Housing said the Council had done its best to try and carry out repairs but ultimately it had had to renew the heating and hot water facilities at Riverside flats. During the works, residents had been provided with oil-filled radiators and a means of obtaining hot water. He provided reassurances that the traces of asbestos that were found were minimal; their discovery had led to a three-day hiatus in the programme of works while they were assessed by the Health and Safety Executive. Following that hiatus, the Council was given the all-clear to continue with the works. In response to a question, the Cabinet Member said that whilst he could not provide details of individual payments, he would be able to provide the total paid. It was anticipated that all compensation payments would be made by 7 February 2020 and he also drew Members’ attention to the fact that the service charge had been waived since September 2018. He also agreed that the Interim Strategic Director Growth would circulate details of the individual who was conducting the investigation.

     

    On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:

     

    Despite public assurances given almost a year ago to a previous meeting of this Council in response to residents’ questions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82d

82e

Councillor Ashley Baxter

    A number of UK charities raise funds through textiles recycling e.g. Salvation Army, Oxfam and British Heart Foundation. These organisations work with local authorities (and other organisations) to promote and increase recycling via the provision of publicly accessible textiles banks.

     

    Textiles collected via the banks are sorted in the UK. The reusable garments are sold to secondary markets typically in Eastern Europe or further afield where they are resold and reused. Any unwearable garments are sold into the ‘rag trade’ and recycled into other products eg. cleaning materials.

     

    If the Council were to offer suitable locations for charity textile banks, the Council would receive an incentive in the form of modest fee per tonne of recycled materials.

     

    The textile banks (and the contents) remain the property of the operator who are responsible for the monitoring and emptying of the banks as well as most issues of health, safety and hygiene. If a particular site proves to be subject to regular problems of unforeseen anti-social behaviour eg. graffiti, flytipping or other nuisance then the host can require it to be removed.

     

    Statistics offered by SATCO (Salvation Army’s textile company) show that other local authority areas in Lincolnshire who host textile banks on their own land recycle far more textiles in this manner than South Kesteven.

     

    There are several suitable locations on South Kesteven property which could be suitable for textiles recycling eg. Meres Leisure Centre car park in Grantham, Halfleet car park in Market Deeping, Deepings Leisure Centre, Wharf Road car park in Stamford, Bourne Leisure Centre (NB. It is not intended that the banks should occupy any existing designated parking space.

     

    The Council resolves:

     

    1.    The Council shall seek to enter into partnership with charitable textiles recycling organisations to install at least four textiles recycling banks on Council-owned land. This will include at least one charity textile recycling bank in each of the four urban settlements (Grantham, Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings).

     

    2.    The scheme will be reviewed after six months by the Environment OSC who will make recommendations based on the merits and recycling rates of each collection bank.

     

    Any income generated from the provision of the banks will be ring-fenced for the promotion of recycling activities.

    Minutes:

    Councillor Baxter proposed his motion:

     

    A number of UK charities raise funds through textiles recycling e.g. Salvation Army, Oxfam and British Heart Foundation. These organisations work with local authorities (and other organisations) to promote and increase recycling via the provision of publicly accessible textiles banks.

     

    Textiles collected via the banks are sorted in the UK. The reusable garments are sold to secondary markets typically in Eastern Europe or further afield where they are resold and reused. Any unwearable garments are sold into the ‘rag trade’ and recycled into other products eg. cleaning materials.

     

    If the Council were to offer suitable locations for charity textile banks, the Council would receive an incentive in the form of modest fee per tonne of recycled materials.

     

    The textile banks (and the contents) remain the property of the operator who are responsible for the monitoring and emptying of the banks as well as most issues of health, safety and hygiene. If a particular site proves to be subject to regular problems of unforeseen anti-social behaviour eg. graffiti, flytipping or other nuisance then the host can require it to be removed.

     

    Statistics offered by SATCO (Salvation Army’s textile company) show that other local authority areas in Lincolnshire who host textile banks on their own land recycle far more textiles in this manner than South Kesteven.

     

    There are several suitable locations on South Kesteven property which could be suitable for textiles recycling eg. Meres Leisure Centre car park in Grantham, Halfleet car park in Market Deeping, Deepings Leisure Centre, Wharf Road car park in Stamford, Bourne Leisure Centre (NB. It is not intended that the banks should occupy any existing designated parking space.

     

    The Council resolves:

     

    1.    The Council shall seek to enter into partnership with charitable textiles recycling organisations to install at least four textiles recycling banks on Council-owned land. This will include at least one charity textile recycling bank in each of the four urban settlements (Grantham, Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings).

     

    2.    The scheme will be reviewed after six months by the Environment OSC who will make recommendations based on the merits and recycling rates of each collection bank.

     

    3.    Any income generated from the provision of the banks will be ring-fenced for the promotion of recycling activities.

     

    Councillor Baxter referred to conversations that he had had with the Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations and the consideration that had been given to the topic by the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee. He explained that he had brought the matter to Council, because he did not feel that the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee had been provided with sufficient evidence to support its considerations. Prior to the meeting, information had been circulated by Councillor Baxter which set out how the Council could generate income from accommodating textile recycling banks and an example of the level of income achieved by another Lincolnshire authority, details about the declining recycling rate within the district including the rate of contamination and the current methods through which clothing could  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82e

82f

Councillor Kelham Cooke

    Hatred, and particularly religious hatred, in all forms, is not something that should be tolerated in our society. Whilst there have been instances of hatred appallingly directed at several religions, worryingly there is an upward national trend in antisemitic hatred that must not be tolerated.

     

    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief recently released a report which agreed that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism can offer valuable guidance for identifying antisemitism in its various forms.

     

    The IHRA definition is as follows:

     

    “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities”.

     

    This definition is encouraged in its use in “education, awareness-raising and for monitoring and responding to manifestations of antisemitism”.

     

    I therefore move that this Council formally adopts the IHRA definition of antisemitism, sending a clear message to communities in the district of South Kesteven that we will not and do not tolerate religious hatred, and reflecting this by including this definition in the Council’s Equality and Diversity Policy.

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council proposed his motion:

     

    Hatred, and particularly religious hatred, in all forms, is not something that should be tolerated in our society. Whilst there have been instances of hatred appallingly directed at several religions, worryingly there is an upward national trend in antisemitic hatred that must not be tolerated.

     

    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief recently released a report which agreed that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism can offer valuable guidance for identifying antisemitism in its various forms.

     

    The IHRA definition is as follows:

     

    “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities”.

     

    This definition is encouraged in its use in “education, awareness-raising and for monitoring and responding to manifestations of antisemitism”.

     

    I therefore move that this Council formally adopts the IHRA definition of antisemitism, sending a clear message to communities in the district of South Kesteven that we will not and do not tolerate religious hatred, and reflecting this by including this definition in the Council’s Equality and Diversity Policy.

     

    In proposing his motion, the Leader referred to the commemoration of 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. He asked the Council to pledge that it would reject hate crime in no matter what the guise, nor whomever the target.

     

    The proposition motion was seconded. Further reference was made to the commemoration events and the Council’s existing statement on hate crime as set out in its Safeguarding Policy. The seconder said that he hoped that going forward, the council would recognise other increases in hate, giving the example of increased Islamophobia. Whilst the seconder did not think it would change anything “on the ground”, he hoped adopting the definition would send a clear message that anti-Semitism had no place within the Council nor across the district.

     

    Another Member said that they were happy to support the motion but requested it be amended so that the final paragraph read:

     

    I therefore move that this Council formally adopts the IHRA definition of antisemitism, sending a clear message to communities in the district of South Kesteven that we will not and do not tolerate religious hatred, and reflecting this by including this definition and the definition of Islamophobia as agreed by the all-party Parliamentary group on British Muslims in the Council’s Equality and Diversity Policy.

     

    This was seconded. The Councillor seconding the amendment indicated a preference that the motion go further still, commenting that discrimination has led to massacre.

     

    Some Members expressed concern that broadening the motion would dilute the impact of the original motion during the commemorative period. The Leader indicated that he would be prepared to support the amendment.

     

    One Member referred to his childhood and the multi-cultural community in which he lived. He indicated that he had initially felt uncomfortable with the initial  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82f

83.

Close of meeting