Agenda and minutes

Council
Monday, 2nd March, 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

The Chairman welcomed the Council’s new Chief Executive, Karen Bradford as it was her first day working for the authority, and hoped that she would enjoy her time working for South Kesteven District Council.

84.

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:

    The Chairman stated that because all the questions that had been submitted were addressed to the Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, who had given an apology for absence, a response would be provided by the Leader. In answering the questions, the Leader clarified that all responses were in draft format and advised that a formal written response would be sent to the questioners.

     

    Question 1

     

    Question to: Councillor Rosemary Trollope-Bellew, the Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy (responded to by the Leader of the Council on behalf of the Cabinet Member)

    From: Mark Botteley

     

    “Having read through the Bourne CiCLE Festival event Appraisal Report, which I’m sure you've all read, I noticed several things.

     

    And I quote:

     

    "The events core aims were to raise the profile of Bourne as a destination, bring economic benefit to the town, build community engagement across the district and encourage local schools’ involvement. These aims were achieved...

     

    There were also loads of positive testimonials from participants and locals...Due to shortage [of time] I'll quote just one.

     

    "As long serving residents of Pickworth, we would like to thank you all for the spectacular cycle race you ran through our village yesterday. May it be the first of many. Why should Yorkshire have it all!"

     

    Finally, at the bottom of the report, the words:

     

    "Overall the net income of £127,681 is a welcome boost for the town. It has created a positive platform which hopefully as the number of inbound visitors increases in subsequent years, could form a significant economic boost for the town.”

     

    In addition to all of the positivity from the report, Jonathan Rigby, Commercial Director of British Cycling, had made the observation whilst visiting the Festival last year, that what we achieved should be seen as a blueprint for how to run a National level Cycling Event.

     

    Bearing in mind all of the above, and considering the Festival was launched as a 3-year project, I would like to ask the following question:

     

    Why was the Bourne CiCLE festival cancelled by a cabinet member (Rosemary Trollope-Bellew) when the Culture Committee agreed for it to go ahead but with a lower budget?”

     

    In reading the draft response, the Leader explained that Cabinet Members did not make decisions in isolation. He articulated the Council’s commitment to delivering a programme of events and festivals across the district and stated that this involved balancing the needs of local communities and visitors as well as providing value for money for council tax payers. Value for money was assessed through the development of a detailed business case that analysed visitor numbers, spend in local shops and other social and economic benefits against the cost. He added that the business case should also identify any other funding streams and the extent to which an event was supported by local residents and businesses.

     

    The response stated that the Council could not wholly support the Bourne CiCLE event and no proposition had been presented setting out how Council funding could be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

Apologies for Absence

86.

Disclosure of Interests

87.

Minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2020 pdf icon PDF 357 KB

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2020 were proposed, seconded and agreed as a correct record subject to amending the final sentence on page 27 to read:

     

    Those Some members that spoke did not consider that a need had been demonstrated for any additional textile recycling facility.”

88.

Communications (including Chairman's Announcements) pdf icon PDF 89 KB

    An overview of the Chairman’s engagements

    Minutes:

    The Chairman stated that, although the event was listed, she had been unable to attend the Mayor of Grantham’s comedy night because of another engagement. She referred to the recent civic dinner, which she felt had provided an excellent opportunity to talk to members of the business community within the district and stated that feedback had been positive.

     

    The Chairman’s annual civic service of thanksgiving had been held in St. Wulfram’s Church on Sunday 1 March 2020. The church choir, which had an international reputation, sang as part of the service. The service was commended by the Mayor of Market Deeping through one of the Members present at the meeting.

     

    The Chairman also referred to upcoming events including the Commonwealth flag raising on Monday 9 March 2020, the inaugural RAF flag raising on 1 April 2020 and the Chairman’s Charity Gala on Friday 3 April 2020, for which tickets were still available.

     

    The RAF flag raising was welcomed by members of the Council. Reference was made to a series of events that the Chairman had been unable to attend; a programme of short films in the Deepings, which the Council had sponsored. Thanks were expressed to the local Members who had been involved in delivering the project and the Council’s Head of Arts.

89.

Pay Policy Statement 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 203 KB

    Report of the Chairman of the Employment Committee asking Council to approve the Pay Policy Statement 2020-21.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman, in her capacity as the Chairman of the Employment Committee proposed that the Council approves the Pay Policy Statement 2020. In doing so, she referred to the discussions on the statement that had taken place at the meeting of the Employment Committee on 18 February 2020, which were informing the Committee’s future work programme. The Chairman stated that there had been no fundamental changes from the 2019/20 Pay Policy Statement and highlighted those areas that were statutorily required to be included.

     

    The proposition was seconded and in doing so reference was made to the continued focus of the way the Council was operating to improve its policies, procedures and practices. Upcoming activities that were highlighted included the next staff survey and a review of pay and reward to ensure that the Council operated as an employer of choice that was able to attract and retain the best talent.

     

    During debate on the item, questions were posed about the previous review of the Council’s senior officer structure, the costs associated with it and whether the payback period for associated redundancies had been met. Questions were also asked about how much redundancies had cost in 2019/20 and the allocation in the 2020/21 budget for redundancies. The Leader responded stating that it was not appropriate to share details of the redundancies that had been made in the meeting but stated that technical details could be circulated to members. He added that re-structuring would be a priority for the Chief Executive in order to realign the management team to council priorities. He indicated that ordinarily redundancies would be funded from reserves so there was no specific budgetary allocation. If, as a result of the forthcoming restructure it was considered necessary, adjustments may be required to add a line to the budget for redundancy payments. The Leader also stated that he was happy to have a meeting outside the meeting with a Member who asked about the range of termination payments.

     

    One Member referred to the salaries listed for senior officers and indicated he believed them to be value for money when considered in the context of other organisations, including some charities and a local hospital trust.

     

    On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:

     

    The Council adopts the Pay Policy Statement 2020-21.

90.

Budget Proposals for 2020/21 and indicative budgets for 2021/22 and 2022/23 - A district that works for everyone, delivering opportunity pdf icon PDF 445 KB

    Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources on the Budget proposals for 2020/21and indicative budgets for 2021/22 and 2022/23.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Before discussion began on the Council’s Budget 2020/21, it was proposed, seconded and agreed to suspend article 4.11.4 of the Council’s Constitution, which restricted the maximum amount of time a Member could speak to five minutes, for this item only and instead allowing Members to speak for a maximum of 10 minutes.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources presented his report setting out budget proposals for 2020/21 and indicative budgets for 2021/22 and 2022/23, which he considered supported the Council’s ambition to make South Kesteven a better place to live, work and invest. Members were informed that the Council was required by law to set a balanced budget. He also confirmed that in accordance with Section 25 of the Local Government Act 2003, the Chief Finance Officer had confirmed that reserves levels were adequate and the estimates used to prepare the budgets were robust.

     

    Members were advised that the proposals had been subject to robust scrutiny by both the Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Cabinet. The budget for 2020/21 had been based on a one-year deal following a further delay to the review of the funding formula, which created uncertainty and meant that the medium term projection was currently unbalanced pending further information on the review.

     

    The Cabinet Member stated that the new Chief Executive would be leading the development of a new corporate plan that would realign budgets to support delivery of the Council’s ambitions.

     

    Members’ attention was then drawn to the opportunity that had been given to district councils to increase their council tax by £5 for one-year only. Reference was made to consultation that had been undertaken on council tax proposals.

     

    Fees and charges had also been reviewed as part of the budget-setting process, clarifying those services that must meet their costs and those that the Council wished to incentivise. It was noted that in most cases the proposed increases were in line with inflation.

     

    Attention turned to the Housing Revenue Account, which for the first time in 5-years included a rent increase in line with Government policy. Any tenant who experienced difficulties in meeting the increase would be encouraged to see whether they were eligible for universal credit. The Housing Revenue Account proposals incorporated a 5-year Capital Programme of £60m to acquire and build homes.

     

    Reference turned to opportunities for the Council to generate income, with specific mention being made of EnvironmentSK and InvestSK. Members were given an indication that performance of EnvironmentSK during its first year of operation had been favourable and it was now taking on additional responsibilities for cutting grass verges around Grantham, the cost of which would be funded through the Grantham Special Expense Area. Members also noted that during 2019/20 InvestSK had relocated to the Council’s St. Peter’s Hill offices, reducing its overheads; this had been reflected in a reduction to the company’s budget, reducing it from £1.4 million to £540,000. This reduction also reflected the Council’s desire to refocus InvestSK’s work on inward investment, economic development  ...  view the full minutes text for item 90.

91.

Updates from the Leader of the Council

91a

Leader's report on urgent decisions

91b

Meetings of the Cabinet approved since the last Council meeting pdf icon PDF 191 KB

92.

Notices of Motion given under Article 4.9:

92a

Councillor Morgan pdf icon PDF 198 KB

    SKDC does not support the Outcome of the Healthy Conversation exercise published recently by NHS Lincs. This council believes the proposals put before members of the public during a recent series of public engagement exercises was too narrow to properly reflect the needs of our community. It was based on what health services NHS Lincs are prepared to deliver, rather than the services local people need. The cumulative impact of over a decade of cuts to services at Grantham + District Hospital has resulted in a hollowing out of vital local hospital services forcing local people to travel miles for hospital treatment. 

    SKDC calls for the consultation proposals in the next stage in development of our NHS services to fully reflect the needs of local people and to provide full parity with residents living in the Lincoln and Boston areas. SKDC call for the restoration of a fully functioning appropriately staffed District General Hospital to support all living and working in our local community regardless of age. The Consultation must offer the provision of both elective and emergency non-elective care, particularly in view of the significant distances to alternative hospital sites within and outside Lincolnshire, and, the size of the population supported within the hospital's cross county catchment area.

    The Consultation must include the restoration of key services including a restoration of a fully supported consultant led 24/7 Accident and Emergency department capable of stabilising and resuscitating patients of all ages, paediatric (children’s) services with provision for overnight stay if required; a consultant led maternity unit; local fracture diagnosis and treatment, and, a restoration of the diabetes clinic at the hospital site. In view of the hospital's proximity to the A1 and mainline railway network the restoration of a trauma unit is also required.

    Other services have not been delivered at Grantham & District Hospital but have been requested. SKDC calls for the Consultation to also include the provision of acute/emergency stroke care, improvements to local cancer diagnosis and cancer care services including breast care, the continuation and enhancement (where possible) of cardiology services. A 24/7 hospital transport service should be included to enable all patients and carers, regardless of income, the ability to access key services at Grantham and across the county. 

    The Consultation must include the needs of all with protected characteristics. 

    This Council opposes the further downgrade of services at Grantham + District Hospital. They are not compatible with the future plans of the District.

    Minutes:

    The Council’s Constitution states that no motion of which notice has been given will be debated in the absence of the Member who proposed it. As an apology for absence was received from Councillor Morgan the motion was withdrawn from the agenda.

     

    Confirmation was given that the motion would be rolled over to the next meeting of the Council.

93.

Close of meeting