Venue: Meres Leisure Centre, Trent Road, Grantham. NG31 7XQ
Contact: Democratic Services
Councillor Bob Adams
The Chairman asked Council to take a moment of silence for Councillor Bob Adams who had recently passed away.
Councillor Bob Adams had been the Chairman of the Council in 2009-10 and Leader of the Council from March 2015 to 2017, and served as Chairman of the Planning Committee from May 2019 to June 2021.
Members of the Council across all political parties paid their respects to Councillor Adams.
The Chairman of the Council welcomed all present to the meeting.
A particular welcome was made to newly elected Members Councillor Richard Cleaver (Stamford All Saints Ward) and Councillor Kaffy Rice-Oxley (Arnoldfield Ward), who had been elected at the by-elections held on 28 October 2021.
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.
From: Gene Plews
To: Councillor Amanda Wheeler
“During the Black Lives Matters protests held in London, the Bomber Command Statue, the Canada Memorial in Green Park, the Royal Marines Graspan Memorial on the Mall, the memorial to PC Yvonne Fletcher, the Allies Statue of Sir Winston Churchill, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Statue in New Bond Street were all defaced with coloured paint and graffiti.
Does Councillor Wheeler as a supporter of the BLM movement and member of the Stamford Anti Racism Group agree with these actions, or does she publicly condone them?”
Councillor Amanda Wheeler confirmed that she was a supporter of the Stamford Anti-Racism Group and fully supported the ‘Black Lives Matter’ statement. Councillor Amanda Wheeler highlighted that she did not support the defacing of statues or any form of violent protests. She provided examples of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign; England football team’s powerful anti-racism stance throughout the European Cup Finals in Summer 2021, a former West Indian cricketer speaking publicly on the subject last year and the ongoing allegations of racism surrounding Yorkshire Cricket Club, meaning that further actions were required to tackle racism.
Councillor Amanda Wheeler provided statistics in relation to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign:
· That black people had a harder time economically and that a young black man would be twice as likely to be unemployed.
· That people with an ‘African-sounding’ surname sent twice as many job applications before getting an interview.
· That a black female graduate, on average, earnt 10% less than a white female graduate.
· That black people were 47% more likely to be on a ‘zero-hour’ contract with less employment rights.
· That black people had a harder time medically; black women had a 40% higher chance of a miscarriage. A disproportionate number of black people died as a result of COVID-19.
· That black people were more likely to be affected by crime, were nine times more likely to be stopped and searched by police and five times more likely to be murdered.
She highlighted that the ‘Black Lives Matter’ march that took place in Stamford in July 2020 was an entirely peaceful event and no statues were damaged or vandalised. Following on from the gathering, Stamford Anti-Racism Group was formed with an aim of making Stamford and the surrounding areas a welcome place for everyone irrespective of their nationality, ethnicity, and heritage. It was also noted that the group hosted a Diversity Festival in August 2021, which was supported by South KestevenDistrict Council community grant and was attended by the Leader of the Council, District Councillors and Officers.
From: Gene Plews
To: Councillor Amanda Wheeler
“The allied statue of our war time leader, Sir Winston Churchill in London had the words sprayed across it in black spray paint: ‘was a racist’.
Does Councillor Wheeler as a supporter of the BLM movement, and a member of the Stamford Anti Racism Group agree with these words in sentiment?”
Councillor Amanda Wheeler confirmed that she did not agree ... view the full minutes text for item 43.
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors John Dawson, Jan Hansen, Gloria Johnson, Mrs Rosemary Kaberry-Brown, Graham Jeal, Jane Kingman, Matthew Lee, Nikki Manterfield, Annie Mason, Penny Milnes, Susan Sandall and Mrs Judy Smith.
Disclosure of Interests
Members are asked to disclose any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.
Councillor Adam Stokes (The Deputy Leader of the Council) declared an interest in item 8 of the agenda: Breach of the South Kesteven District Council Member Code of Conduct. Councillor Adam Stokes as the son of Councillor Ian Stokes stated that he would leave the meeting room, during consideration of the item.
Election of Vice-Chairman of the Council
To elect a Vice-Chairman of South Kesteven District Council.
Councillor Helen Crawford was proposed and seconded for the role of Vice- Chairman of South Kesteven District Council.
Following a vote, it was AGREED:
That Councillor Helen Crawford be elected as the Vice-Chairman of South Kesteven District Council.
Councillor Helen Crawford was invested with the Vice-Chairman’s medallion and Members of the Council congratulated Councillor Helen Crawford on her election with a round of applause.
Communications (including Chairman's Announcements) PDF 104 KB
The Council noted the Chairman’s engagements. The Chairman highlighted various engagements she had attended including the Remembrance Day Parade and Service, which she had attended for the first time in Grantham, the Business in the Community Awards and tree planting in Queen Elizabeth Park, Grantham.
Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 July 2021 PDF 125 KB
Following deferral of the minutes of the meeting held on 15 July 2021, Members are asked to consider a more accurate wording.
Members were reminded that it was agreed at its meeting on 30 September 2021 that the minutes from the meeting held on 15 July 2021, be deferred. This was to allow officers time to provide more accurate wording, regarding a question from a Member.
Reference was made to the wording on page 8 of the agenda pack at paragraph 15, Apologies for Absence. It stated that “a Member asked why Cabinet minutes were no longer included as an agenda item for Full Council” and the reply given was that this was not a requirement under the Council’s Constitution”. The Member felt that the point he had made by asking the question had been missed, in that by no longer having the Cabinet minutes as an item on the Council agenda, as had previously happened, it limited the questions that could be asked of the Leader and the Cabinet at Council meetings.
The Chief Executive stated that minutes were not verbatim records of meetings and asked for clarity from the Head of Democratic Services on the wording used. The Head of Democratic Services advised that any member could move an amendment to the minutes should they feel that they did not accurately reflect the business conducted at the meeting.
An amendment was proposed that the wording at page 8 paragraph 15, Apologies for Absence should read:
“The Member queried why the minutes of the most recent Cabinet meetings had not been included in the agenda, pointing out that this limited questions to the Leader and members of the Cabinet from Members at meetings of the Council.”
The amendment was seconded.
The Leader made reference to the response he gave at the time and reminded Members that questions could be asked during the Members’ open questions session on the agenda and that Members could attend Cabinet meetings and ask questions during various items. It was not for Council to debate or question Cabinet minutes. Having proposed the amendment, the Leader signalled his intention to propose an additional amendment to reflect the reply that he gave in response to the point referred to. Further discussion followed on the amendment proposed.
On being put to the vote the amendment was LOST.
Having been proposed, seconded and being put to the vote, the minutes as shown in the agenda pack for the meeting held on 15 July 2021 were AGREED.
Councillor Dilks asked that his vote against the minutes was recorded.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 July 2021, be approved as a correct record.
Minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2021 PDF 205 KB
To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2021.
The Chief Executive drew Members’ attention to the tabled copy of an amendment requested by Councillor Dr Peter Moseley. The change provided a more detailed response on minute number 36, Members’ Open Questions: Councillor Ian Selby to Councillor Dr Peter Moseley (The Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations).
Councillor Selby reviewed the changes proposed and was satisfied that it provided an accurate account of the question and answer.
Members considered the minutes, including the revision and they were proposed, seconded and AGREED as a correct record.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2021 be approved as a correct record, subject to the inclusion of the revision at Minute 36, requested by Councillor Dr Peter Moseley.
Breach of the South Kesteven District Council Member Code of Conduct by a District Councillor PDF 311 KB
To report to Council the outcome of an investigation by the Monitoring Officer into an alleged breach of the South Kesteven District Council Member Code of Conduct by Councillor Ian Stokes.
(Councillor Adam Stokes left the meeting during the consideration of this item)
The Monitoring Officer presented Members with a report on a breach of the South Kesteven District Council Member Code of Conduct by Councillor Ian Stokes.
The Monitoring Officer had received 21 complaints following Councillor Stokes’ use of a racist phrase at a meeting of the Governance and Audit Committee held on 20 October 2021, of which he was the Chairman. The matter had been formally investigated taking into account a range of evidence, including the content of the 21 complaints.
It was noted that since the Monitoring Officer had shared his draft investigation report with Councillor Stokes, he had resigned as Vice-Chairman of the Council, Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee and all other Committees where he had been appointed by Full Council as a Member. The Monitoring Officer referred to the recommendations in his investigation report which included proposed sanctions in respect of Councillor Stokes’ Vice-Chairmanship of the Council, Chairmanship of the Governance and Audit Committee and membership on any other Committees. As Councillor Stokes had resigned from this position himself, these particular recommendations were no longer relevant.
The recommendations contained within the covering report, which took the above resignations into account, were proposed and seconded.
One Member stated that a number of members of the public had asked why Councillor Ian Stokes had not stepped down from his position as a Councillor, given the public nature of the role, and asked for clarity as she understood that there were no powers to suspend or disqualify someone as a Councillor and that the electorate could effectively do this when voting at the next election.
The Monitoring Officer confirmed that there was no sanction which could remove or suspend a Councillor temporarily or permanently from office. The Chief Executive stated that the only time that a Councillor could be removed from office was if they had been convicted of a criminal offence or they were imprisoned.
The recommendations of the report were proposed, seconded and unanimously AGREED.
1. That Council noted the content of the investigation report and supported the following proposed sanctions:
• That Councillor Ian Stokes makes a further public apology.
• That Councillor Ian Stokes attends equality and diversity training.
• That a public censure notice outlining the sanctions applied be put in place on Councillor Ian Stokes’ website profile until the end of his current term of office.
Membership of Committees PDF 336 KB
To note the results of two by-elections held on 28 October 2021 and provide Political Group Leaders with an opportunity to review and recommend changes to their respective membership of Committees. The report also provides Council with an opportunity to establish a working group to oversee the Community Governance Review in respect of a Town Council for Grantham.
A report on the Membership of Committees was presented to Members by the Leader of the Council.
The report noted the results of two by-elections (Grantham Arnoldfield Ward and Stamford All Saints Ward), which were held on 28 October 2021. Also noted within the report were changes that had been made to the Council’s Political Balance as a consequence of the results of the by-election and other changes in political affiliation by individual Members and recommended changes to the membership of Committees.
The Independent Group Leader proposed that Councillor Paul Fellows would be appointed on to the Licensing Committee in accordance with the Group’s new allocation based on the revised political proportionality.
The Leader stated the following changes to Committee memberships in respect of the Conservative Group:
· Councillor Rosemary Kaberry-Brown to be removed from the Licensing Committee.
· Councillor Gloria Johnson and Councillor Susan Sandall to be appointed to the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
· Councillor Kaffy Rice-Oxley and Councillor Jill Thomas to be appointed to the Companies Committee.
· Councillor Kaffy Rice-Oxley to be appointed to the Governance and Audit Committee.
· The vacancy on the Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee to be deferred until after the by-election for the Isaac Newton Ward.
Members voted on the appointments to Committees as proposed by the Leader of the Council and Leader of the Opposition and NOTED that:
1. Councillor Kathleen Rice-Oxley was elected to the Grantham Arnoldfield Ward following a By-Election on 28 October 2021 and had given notice that she would join the Conservative Group.
2. Councillor Richard Cleaver was elected to the Stamford All Saints Ward following a By-Election on 28 October 2021 and had given notice that he would join the Independent Group.
3. Councillor Ian Stokes had changed his political affiliation to Independent (non-aligned).
4. Councillor John Cottier has changed his political affiliation to Independent (aligned to the Conservative Group).
5. The political proportionality of the Council had been revised and changes to the allocation of seats to political groups on the Council’s Committees had changed.
That the changes in the membership of Committees submitted by Political Group Leaders, be approved as follows:
· That Councillor Rosemary Kaberry-Brown be removed from the Licensing Committee and be replaced by Councillor Paul Fellows.
· That Councillor Rosemary Kaberry-Brown be removed from the Alcohol, Entertainment & Late-Night Refreshment Licensing Committee and be replaced by Councillor Paul Fellows.
· That Councillors Kaffy Rice-Oxley and Jill Thomas be appointed to the Companies Committee.
· That Councillors Gloria Johnson and Susan Sandall be appointed to the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
· That Councillor Kaffy Rice-Oxley be appointed to the Governance and Audit Committee.
· That the appointment of a Member to the Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee be deferred until after the by-election for the Isaac Newton Ward.
· That a Working Group be established to oversee the Community Governance Review, in respect of a Town Council for Grantham, membership of the Working Group to be all ... view the full minutes text for item 51.
Member Code of Conduct PDF 313 KB
To consider adopting the Local Government Association Model Councillor Code of Conduct.
The Cabinet Member for Corporate Governance and Licensing presented to Members a report on the Member Code of Conduct. The purpose of the report was to ask Members to consider adopting the Local Government Association Model Code of Conduct.
The Local Government Association introduced a new model Councillor Code of Conduct on 23 December 2020, which had been designed to protect a Councillor’s democratic role, encourage good conduct and safeguard the public’s interest in local government.
The new model Code had been developed in association with key partners and extensive consultation with the local government sector. A copy of the model Councillor Code of Conduct was attached at Appendix A to the report.
Feedback from the Monitoring Officer Network indicated that a significant number of authorities across the country had adopted the new model Code, either in full or adapting it to fit their particular local needs in line with the principles of the new Code.
In Lincolnshire, West Lindsey District Council adopted the model Code in its entirety. The City of Lincoln Council, East Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council and North Kesteven District Council undertook reviews of their respective Codes and were either content that their existing Codes were consistent with the principles of the model Code, or made amendments where necessary to ensure that they were. It was understood that Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council would be considering whether to adopt the model Code in the New Year.
South Kesteven District Council’s current Code of Conduct was based on the previous model Code and when compared to the new version it had key elements missing, such as sections on respect and bullying, harassment and discrimination.
The new model Code, as well as setting out the standards to be expected of anyone in public office, also provided definitions and examples of the behaviour and conduct that should be demonstrated by elected members under each section.
The new model Code also set out greater clarity with regard to the registration and disclosure of interests. Training on the new model Code, subject to its approval, was scheduled for 29 November 2021. The vast majority of Members were signed up for one of the three sessions, further sessions were in the process of being set up for anyone unable to attend.
In considering this report at the Constitution Committee, comments were made regarding the sanctions available to the Council should a breach of the Code of Conduct occur. Unfortunately, no changes had been made to the sanctions available to Monitoring Officers, or the Council as a result of the introduction of the model Code. It was noted that the revised document provided more clarity regarding the standards expected of elected members, as well as reminding all Members the type of behaviour that could not be tolerated and may result in the submission of complaints.
It was highlighted that whilst sanctions were limited from the perspective of the Monitoring Officer and Council, failure to register ... view the full minutes text for item 52.
Grantham Rectory Farm Supplementary Planning Document PDF 317 KB
To seek formal adoption of the Grantham Rectory Farm Supplementary Planning Document as Council policy, to supplement policies in the South Kesteven Local Plan.
Members were presented with a report by the Cabinet Member for Planning and Planning Policy on the Grantham Rectory Farm Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The Rectory Farm area was a key allocation which formed part of Grantham’s North West Quadrant and was situated near the Poplar Farm development.
The SPD document was presented to Cabinet on 9 November 2021 where it was endorsed by the Cabinet with a recommendation that Council adopt the document.
The Council had worked with consultants AECOM and Lincolnshire County Council to create the SPD.
The document ensured that developers delivered a high quality and sustainable development. In August 2019 the Council had declared a Climate Emergency which had cross-party support and the Cabinet Member for Planning and Planning Policy stated that everyone could help shape the Council’s ambitious plans to improve the environment for all residents.
The SPD included sustainable transport measures including the creation of new walking routes and cycle networks, the inclusion of tree lined avenues and connectivity to adjacent developments.
In drafting the Grantham Rectory Farm Supplementary Planning Document, a public consultation had been carried out between January 2019 and February 2019, the results of which were appended to the report. Local Ward Members had also been engaged with as part of the consultation including the new Members to the Council.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Planning Policy proposed that the Grantham Rectory Farm Supplementary Planning Document as appended to the report at Appendix 1 be adopted. This proposal was seconded.
Members discussed the document and made the following comments:
· A significant amount of work had been done within the document in relation to connectivity, improvement of the landscape and building access routes.
· The recent Members briefing session had been very informative.
· The SPD was a good example of officers, developers and members of the public working together to produce a positive document which benefited Grantham.
· There were proposals within the SPD in relation to site access, on Barrowby Road which would help contribute to the decrease in speeding on the road.
· Concern over the continued growth of Grantham considering the consultation which was currently being undertaken by Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Proposals included the downgrading of Grantham Hospital even further, including taking away the acute care service which would mean travelling of at least 45 minutes to the nearest A & E department.
It was noted that the Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s consultation was being carried out over a 12 week period and would end on 23 December 2021.
The Leader of the Council thanked the Cabinet Member for Planning and Planning Policy and all those involved for the work that had gone in to creating the SPD.
On being put to the vote the proposal was AGREED.
That the Grantham Rectory Farm Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) be adopted.
A request was made by Councillor Selby and Councillor Morgan that their decision to abstain from the vote be recorded.
Draft Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document PDF 375 KB
To adopt the Design Guidelines for Rutland and South Kesteven Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
Members were presented with the Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), for Rutland and South Kesteven by the Cabinet Member for Planning and Planning Policy.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) made it clear that policies within an authority’s Local Plan and any Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) should set out clear design expectations.
The Design Guide was an essential tool which allowed South Kesteven District Council to assess or improve the design of a development. The document would also help the Council to reach it’s aspirations within the Corporate Plan 2021 – 2023 for housing that meets the needs of our residents, by creating healthy and strong communities and also a clean and sustainable environment.
The Design Guide was commissioned jointly by South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) and Rutland County Council (RCC) and was fully funded by a planning delivery grant awarded by the Government on a competitive bidding basis. Being a joint bid by both authorities meant the Design Guide was a joint document. Each authority was responsible for undertaking their own public consultation and both the public and stakeholders had had the opportunity to shape the document through consultation and various workshops. Once the SPD was adopted it would be a material consideration in determining planning applications.
In seconding the proposal the Chairman of the Planning Committee referred to the work done by both the Cabinet Member for Planning and Planning Policy and also the late Councillor Bob Adams on the Design document.
Debate on the document followed and the following points were made:
· The new Design Guide would be an excellent tool to help to introduce the design and quality of housing that was appropriate for South Kesteven.
· Tribute was made to the work undertaken by the Principal Design Officer on the document.
· Improvement to the layout of sites to include green corridors, site connectivity and general improvements was welcomed by all Members.
· Regret that climate change did not have its own chapter within the document, but the questions referenced under the section on strategic design were really good to put to developers. Unfortunately there was no current legislation that allowed Members to enforce net carbon zero homes.
· The current planning application form was a national form which could not be changed.
· Aesthetics and improvements to developments had already been improved by using the draft guide.
· The Government was not doing more to promote climate change incentives to developers when building houses, which was seen as a failure by some Members.
· That solar thermal technologies were not referenced within the document.
· Members were pleased to see that social and affordable housing should be located within a development with access to services including community facilities and health care rather than being placed on the edge of a development.
· The use of green corridors and the planting of trees would help address air toxicity.
· When would the Design Guide be effective from if approved.
· Definition of what was an affordable home.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Planning Policy ... view the full minutes text for item 54.
Notices of Motion given under Article 4.9 of the Council's Constitution:
Councillor Ian Selby
South Kesteven District Council supports a fully functioned, 24/7 Accident and Emergency Department for Grantham Hospital.
Motion on Grantham Hospital
South Kesteven District Council supports a fully functioned 24/7 Accident and Emergency Department for Grantham Hospital.
Members were circulated with an amended motion at the meeting:
“It is vital that the residents of the Grantham area have access to Emergency Healthcare which is accessible 24/7. Grantham Hospital is a vital facility for our community and I would like the Chairman to write to the Chief Executive of the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust, saying that South Kesteven District Council wishes to thank all the staff at this hospital for their continued hard work and service, especially over the last 2 years.
The motion highlighted the concern over the continued reduction in services at Grantham Hospital and the current consultation being undertaken by NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commission Group, which, it was felt, was not a meaningful consultation but a tick box exercise with a bias against Grantham Hospital”.
In presenting the motion, Councillor Selby made the following points:
· The former consultation undertaken by the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) had recognised that Grantham was a strategic location and had changed their proposals accordingly.
· The services that Grantham hospital offered affected every single resident, no-one was immune to accidents and the need for urgent treatment as provided by an Accident and Emergency service or an Urgent Treatment Centre.
· A massive housing growth was happening in Grantham and health provision was a material planning consideration.
· Climate change implications when patients had to travel to and from hospitals.
· Tourists were encouraged to come to the district but the lack of local hospital facilities may impact their plans.
· Thanks were given to the work of the ambulance service, paramedics and first responders and the work of the NHS staff and all Key Workers.
· Credit was given to the campaigners and those that had attended the Wednesday vigils to try and help save Grantham’s A & E department.
The motion was seconded by the Leader of the Council.
Further discussion ensued on how the services at Grantham Hospital had been reduced over the last five years and the levels of services downgraded. Reference was made to the closure of the hospital in June 2020 and the Judicial Review that had been brought in connection with the closure of the acute care services for a period of time and how the level of services had been downgraded and eroded over the last five years. Elected Members and members of the public were urged to complete the NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups consultation questionnaire on urgent and emergency care which closed on 23 December 2021.
It was noted that the information that the ULHT had given during the closure period due to Covid was flawed as they had failed to mention that 33,000 residents had signed a petition for the 24/7 restoration of emergency services at Grantham Hospital under the Healthy Conversation consultation.
Further discussion on the motion followed with Members thanking the NHS Staff for all their hard work following the impact of Covid-19 and ... view the full minutes text for item 55a
Councillor Amanda Wheeler
Motion to make training mandatory
In view of recent inappropriate language spoken by a councillor at a public committee meeting, South Kesteven District Council needs to ensure that all councillors are suitably prepared for their roles as public representatives.
At present, training is only mandatory if Members sit on specific committees, such as Licensing and Planning.
There is an extensive programme of additional training offered to councillors which, disappointingly, often has to be cancelled due to lack of interest. However, if councillors are to effectively serve their community, then training to support their knowledge and understanding is essential.
As such, SKDC resolves:
· To ensure that all Councillors attend appropriate training in order for them to carry out their role and the business of the Council effectively
· To make training in Equality and Diversity mandatory for all councillors in order to sit on any Committee of the council
Motion to make training mandatory from Councillor Wheeler
In view of recent inappropriate language spoken by a Councillor at a public Committee meeting, South Kesteven District Council needs to ensure that all Councillors are suitably prepared for their roles as public representatives.
At present, training is only mandatory if Members sit on specific committees, such as Licensing and Planning.
There is an extensive programme of additional training offered to Councillors which, disappointingly, often has to be cancelled due to lack of interest. However, if Councillors are to effectively serve their community, then training to support their knowledge and understanding is essential.
As such, SKDC resolves:
· To ensure that all Councillors attend appropriate training in order for them to carry out their role and the business of the Council effectively
· To make training in Equality and Diversity mandatory for all Councillors in order to sit on any Committee of the Council
In submitting her motion Councillor Wheeler referred to the new Councillor Code of Conduct that the Council had just adopted. An important part of the Code was that Members followed the Equality Act 2010 and that Members could not discriminate against any of the nine protected characteristics of:
· Gender reassignment
· Religion or belief
· Sexual orientation
· Marriage and Civil Partnership
· Pregnancy and Maternity
The Equality Act was law and any Councillor who fell short on any of the above matters was breaking the law. Training was very important and helped Councillors to do their jobs well. Councillor Wheeler thanked the Member Services Officer who put the training programme for Members together, who sourced the trainers and arranged the training sessions. She reflected that it must be a frustrating job when Members did not respond or those who confirmed their attendance and failed to attend the training sessions. She asked that Members supported her in resolving to make Equality and Diversity training mandatory to enable Members to do their jobs well and fairly and within the Code of Conduct and the Equality Act 2010.
The motion was seconded.
A Member wished to include the word ‘Officers’ in the first bullet point of the motion as an amendment, however, it was stated that training for employees came under the remit of the Head of Paid Service and it was therefore inappropriate for Council to include Officers in the motion. The Member withdrew this amendment.
Assurances were given that training for Officers on equality and diversity was built into the Council’s corporate training programme.
The Leader of the Council stated that he supported the motion before Members but wished to amend the wording of the first bullet point to read:
“To ensure there is a clear expectationthat all Councillors attend appropriate training in order for them to carry out their role and the business of the Council effectively.”
Councillor Wheeler confirmed she was happy to accept the amendment.
A question was asked about the introduction of mandatory training being required before any Member was able to sit on Committees. ... view the full minutes text for item 55b
Councillor Ashley Baxter
This Council resolves:
· to encourage organisers of public firework displays within the South Kesteven District to publicise in advance of their events, in order to allow residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people
· to actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks
· to write to the MPs representing the South Kesteven District, and the relevant Minister of State, urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays
· to encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.
Councillor Baxter’s motion was deferred until the next ordinary meeting of full Council, which would be held on 27 January 2022.
Councillor Phil Dilks
Whilst welcoming the cross-party work to date towards reducing carbon emissions as a result of the Council’s activities, this motion seeks to confirm and strengthen Climate Change mitigation considerations when determining major planning applications across South Kesteven.
This Council resolves:
1. “Climate Change” is to be considered as a material consideration in all current and future major planning applications (i.e. applications to create ten or more residential units and/or any development on a site of 0.5 hectares or larger).
2. A specific “Climate Change” paragraph is included in all future reports for such applications coming to the council’s Planning Committee for determination.
3. Information is provided in the reports to committee detailing whether developments are proposed to be carbon neutral or offering reductions in carbon emissions.
Councillor Dilk’s motion was deferred until the next ordinary meeting of full Council, which would be held on 27 January 2022.
Councillor Sue Woolley
This Council is determined to reduce its carbon footprint at every opportunity and will also support efforts made by others to do the same. However, the drive for renewable energy can have unintended consequences particularly when agricultural land is taken out of food production to site such schemes.
Any large scale application for solar must be balanced against the need to produce more of our own food within our country and South Kesteven’s land is some of the most fertile in the UK. There is no point importing food with the carbon footprint it creates when we can grow it here sustainably. South Kesteven is at the heart of UK food production and we should not throw that away lightly.
I would therefore ask this Council to agree with me that our communities need to be made aware of all the information regarding renewable energy and any consultation exercises should be advertised as widely as possible.
I would also ask the Council to take into account the loss of valuable food producing land when making any decisions regarding renewable energy.
Councillor Woolley’s motion was deferred until the next ordinary meeting of full Council, which would be held on 27 January 2022.
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.
Members’ Open Questions were not considered due to time constraints.
Close of meeting
The Chairman closed the meeting at 17:00.