Agenda and minutes

Council - Thursday, 20th April, 2017 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ

Contact: Jo Toomey 

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of the Chairman of the District Council

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    The Chairman will take the chair, make the declaration of acceptance of office and be invested with the chain of office.

    Minutes:

    Members were invited to make nominations for the Chairman of the Council.

     

    A proposition was made and seconded that Councillor Brian Sumner be elected as Chairman of the District Council. Those Members who spoke in support of Councillor Sumner’s nomination referred to advice and support he had given them and stated that he would serve the Council well.

     

    A nomination for Councillor Bob Sampson was also proposed and seconded; reference was made to the active role he had played in his Ward and the personal qualities that made him a strong contender for the role. The comment was also made that the Chairman was not a political appointment, so an independent Member would be well-placed to be Chairman.

     

    A vote was taken and Councillor Sampson was elected as the Chairman of the Council.

     

    The Chairman was invested with the chain of office. He made a declaration of acceptance and took the chair.

     

    COUNCILLOR SAMPSON IN THE CHAIR

     

    The outgoing Chairman thanked the Council for giving her the opportunity to carry out the role. She said that she had felt privileged to live in a county and district with such outstanding towns, villages and countryside and having the opportunity to meet such a broad range of people. She thanked everyone who had supported her throughout her year in office, referring specifically to Councillor Bob Russell who had served as her consort, the Chairman’s Chaplain and the Chairman’s Officer, to each of whom she presented a gift to show her appreciation.

     

    The Chairman presented Councillor Mrs. Smith with a gift to show the Council’s appreciation for all the work she had done during the year.

2.

Statement by Councillor Bob Adams

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    Minutes:

    Following his resignation as the Leader of the Council, Councillor Adams made a brief statement thanking Members for their support and hard work. He also added his appreciation for the work of the authority’s officers and strategic directors who had helped take the district forward in a positive way and achieve recognition. After offering his thanks to Members, he wished the Council well for the future.

3.

Vote of thanks to the retiring Chairman

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    Minutes:

    The Chairman led the vote of the thanks to the retiring Chairman. He praised her dedication to the role and her fairness in the way she conducted meetings. Reference was also made to Councillor Mrs. Smith’s continued active participation in other aspects of Council life and public service. He invited Members to show their appreciation with a round of applause.

4.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman of the District Council

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    The Vice-Chairman will make the declaration of acceptance of office and be invested with the Vice-Chairman’s medallion.

    Minutes:

    Councillor George Chivers was proposed and seconded as the Vice-Chairman of the Council. In proposing Councillor Chivers, reference was made to his dedication and dependability and that he was deserving of the honour of the position. On being put to the vote, this was carried and Councillor Chivers was elected as the Vice-Chairman of the District Council. Councillor Chivers signed the declaration of acceptance of office.

5.

Apologies for Absence

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    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Benn, Broughton, Evans, King and Webster.

6.

Disclosure of Interests

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    Members are asked to disclose any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.

    Minutes:

    No interests were disclosed.

7.

Minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2017 pdf icon PDF 228 KB

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                                                                                                                      (Enclosure)

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2017 were proposed, seconded and agreed as a correct record.

8.

Communications (including Chairman's Announcements) pdf icon PDF 52 KB

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                                                                                                                      (Enclosure)

    Minutes:

    The Council noted the Chairman’s engagements.

9.

Appointment of Leader of the Council

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    Minutes:

    A request was made that any Councillors nominated as Leader of the Council be given an opportunity to explain their manifestos prior to a vote.

     

    Councillor Matthew Lee was proposed and seconded as Leader of the Council. Reference was made to Councillor Lee’s experience across both the private and public sector, noting specifically his role as Deputy Leader of Peterborough City Council and the active role he had played on committees in South Kesteven since his election. His supporters stated that they felt that the Council would be able to deliver more as a result of his leadership.

     

    Councillor Ian Selby was also nominated for the position of Leader; this proposition was seconded. Those speaking in support of Councillor Selby felt that he would be able to be consultative and neutral. Reference was also made to his many years of experience as he was the longest-serving member of the Council and the commitment he had shown to public service during his term of office as Mayor of Grantham.

     

    It was proposed and seconded that, following the vote to appoint the Leader, article 4.11.4 of the Council’s Constitution be suspended so that the successful nominee could fully outline their plans for the authority. This was put to the vote and carried. A request was also made that a recorded vote be taken for the position of Leader. In accordance with article 4.13.4 of the Council’s Constitution it was agreed that the vote would be recorded after more than ten Members indicated their support for the proposition.

     

    Both candidates had the opportunity to speak. Councillor Selby accepted his nomination and said that he would be honoured to serve as Leader; he would look across the Council for his Cabinet. Councillor Lee stated that he looked forward to the opportunity to work with Members from across the whole Council.

     

    The vote was taken:

     

    Councillor Lee

    Councillor Selby

    Abstain

    Cllr Ashwell

    Cllr Baxter

    Cllr Adams

    Cllr Mrs Bosworth

    Cllr Cook

    Cllr Bryant

    Cllr Chivers

    Cllr Craft

    Cllr Mrs Cartwright

    Cllr Cooke

    Cllr Cunningham

    Cllr Mrs Kaberry-Brown

    Cllr Coutts

    Cllr Dilks

    Cllr Mrs Wootten

    Cllr Dobson

    Cllr Forman

    Cllr Wootten

    Cllr Exton

    Cllr Morgan

     

    Cllr Goral

    Cllr Powell

     

    Cllr Griffin

    Cllr Sampson

     

    Cllr Jeal

    Cllr Selby

     

    Cllr Kingman

    Cllr Stevens

     

    Cllr Lee

    Cllr Turner

     

    Cllr Manterfield

    Cllr Wood

     

    Cllr Mapp

     

     

    Cllr Dr Moseley

     

     

    Cllr Neilson

     

     

    Cllr Reid

     

     

    Cllr Robins

     

     

    Cllr Russell

     

     

    Cllr Jacky Smith

     

     

    Cllr Judy Smith

     

     

    Cllr Stephens

     

     

    Cllr A Stokes

     

     

    Cllr I Stokes

     

     

    Cllr Mrs S Stokes

     

     

    Cllr Mrs Sumner

     

     

    Cllr Sumner

     

     

    Cllr Ward

     

     

    Cllr Westropp

     

     

    Cllr Wilkins

     

     

    Cllr Woolley

     

     

    31

    13

    6

     

     

    Councillor Lee was duly elected as Leader of the Council. He said that the changes that he wanted to make would see Councillors in the driving seat. His proposals would support markets, shops and local businesses, championing them and helping them to reach their full potential so that towns were working communities. He added that the Council needed to respond to long-term structure changes. He stated that he was passionate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Announcement on the size and membership of the Executive and the allocation of portfolios

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    Minutes:

     

    Responsibility

    Member

    Human Resources and Cultural Services

    Councillor Matthew Lee

    Business Transformation and Commissioning

    Councillor Kelham Cooke

    Economy and Development

    Councillor Mike King

    Major Development Projects

    Councillor Jacky Smith

    Retail and Visitor Economy

    Councillor Nick Robins

    Communications and Engagement

    Councillor Helen Goral

    Finance

    Councillor Adam Stokes

    Communities and Wellbeing

    Councillor Rosemary Woolley

    Environment

    Councillor Dr. Peter Moseley

     

    In addition to his Portfolio, Councillor Kelham Cooke would also take on the role of Deputy Leader of the Council.

11.

Recommendations from Constitution Committee and other proposed Constitution changes

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11a

Recommendations from the Constitution Committee pdf icon PDF 76 KB

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    Report number LDS213 of the Chairman of the Constitution Committee.    (Enclosure)

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Decision:

     

    1.1         Members’ Open Questions

     

                That the Constitution is amended at Article 4 – the Council, to include Open Questions at Council meetings in place of Questions by Members at Article 4.8 as shown below:

     

    4.8       Open Questions by Members

               

    4.8.1   i)       Open questions at Council will not be allowed at the 

                                    Council budget meeting.

     

                ii)      Time allowed for questions will be a maximum of 45   

                          minutes.

     

                iii)     Questions should be addressed to: Leader, Executive Members, Chairman or Vice-chairman of PDGs and opposition Leaders.

     

                iv)     No questions are to be addressed to the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Development Control Committee, Licensing Committee (Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing Committee) or Governance and Audit Committee or any officer.

     

       v)      Questions will be on a first come, first served basis, members will join the queue through the electronic method using the speaker queuing system. (If the speaker queuing system is unavailable questions will be taken by a show of hands and this will be managed by the Chairman until the time allowed has been reached or before that if no more questions are forthcoming).

     

       vi)     No debate, speech or statement is to take place and members are limited to one question per meeting, no supplementary questions can be asked. Please note that questions only are to be asked and this will be managed through the Chairman.

     

       vii)    The response to any question that has been asked but not answered at the meeting is to be made available at the start of questions at the next full council meeting.

     

    viii)   Questions will not be recorded verbatim in the Council minutes. Details in the minutes will consist of the Member who asked the question, a brief summary of the question and either the Leader, Executive Member, Chairman or Vice-chairman of the PDG or opposition Leader who answered the question.  Recordings of council meetings are available for those Members who wish to listen to full council meetings.

     

       ix)     Members must show respect to each other during the session.

     

                x)      A question will be rejected by the chairman:

     

    ·         if it is not about a matter for which the local authority has a responsibility or which directly affects the district; or

    ·         is of a defamatory, frivolous, objectionable, improper or of an offensive nature; or

    ·         which is substantially the same as a question which has been put at a meeting of the council in the past six months; or

    ·         if the answer requires disclosure of confidential or exempt information

     

    1.2         Development Control Committee

     

    That the Constitution be amended at Article 9 to change the composition of the Development Control Committee to 15 members

     

    1.3         Member Training

     

                That the Constitution is amended at Article 2.3b) as follows:

     

    i)             All members of the Development Control Committee, Licensing Committee (including Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing Committee) and Governance and Audit Committee are required to undergo mandatory training at the start of each term of office following an election. This mandatory training requirement relates to new Members, returning  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11a

11b

Overview and Scrutiny Proposals pdf icon PDF 71 KB

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    Report Cabinet 1 of Councillor Matthew Lee                                   (To follow)

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Decision:

     

    1. That the Council approves the change of the name “Executive” to “Cabinet” throughout the Constitution

     

    1. That the Council approves the changes to the Constitution relating to the provision of overview and scrutiny committees as set out at the Appendix to report number Cabinet 1 by deleting existing Articles 6 and 7 and replacing them with the new Article 6 and 7 as set out in the appendix, together with any consequential amendments and an increase to the number of members sitting on each overview and scrutiny committee from 6 to 7 and an increased quorum of 4 members rather than 3

     

    The Leader proposed the recommendations in report number Cabinet 1; in so doing he stated that the changes he was suggesting would replace existing policy development arrangements with committees that were more holistic, looking at both budget and policy. The new committees would develop their own remits and be sufficiently dynamic to respond to emerging challenges. He explained that provision had been written into the arrangements that would permit any political group leader or deputy group leader to attend any overview and scrutiny committee meeting and have the right to speak or present reports. He felt that in respect of committee size, a smaller membership would help with focus and mean that the skills and expertise of their members would be used to best effect. The proposal was seconded.

     

    Some concern was expressed about the timing of the report and a suggestion was made that, rather than immediately implementing new arrangements, it might be helpful to spend time reviewing existing arrangements. Further comments were also made about inclusivity and the representation of all political groups on the new committees.

     

    An amendment was proposed and seconded, which left intact the first recommendation to change the name from Executive to Cabinet, but replaced the second and third recommendations with the following:

     

    “This Council resolves to set up a working party made up of representatives of all political groups on the Council to carefully consider all options to improve the policy development and scrutiny of this Council.”

     

    Members speaking in favour of the amendment echoed concerns about the speed with which the changes would be implemented and the potential for confusion as there was no pre-agreed remit for any of the new committees.

     

    Some members questioned whether the new arrangements would create conflict because the same committee that helped develop a policy would be instrumental should a decision relating to that policy be called-in. Concerns were also expressed about representation for Grantham, noting that there was a Rural Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet members holding responsibility for engaging with town and parish councils, neither of which Grantham had. The Leader reiterated his previous remarks about opportunities for participation by all political groups.

     

    One member requested that the remits for the overview and scrutiny committees, be presented to Council, to which the Leader agreed.

     

    The Leader responded to the comments that had been made in support of the amendment, stating that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11b

12.

Appointments to committees including the appointment of their Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen pdf icon PDF 163 KB

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    Report number LDS209 of the Chief Executive.                             (Enclosure)

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Decision:

     

    To approve the appointments to Committees and Panels and their Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen as appended to the minutes

     

    Report number LDS209 asked Council to approve the membership of its committees and panels. Nominations from Group Leaders had been circulated prior to the meeting; the Leader of the Council made some verbal updates to their nominees and the Labour Group also made verbal nominations for their places on the overview and scrutiny committees. As a result of the change to the Council’s political balance which resulted from the resignation of two Councillors from the Conservative Group, there was a tied entitlement to the final seat on the Governance and Audit Committee, which the Conservative group also agreed Labour could fill.

     

    The final nominations (appended to these minutes) were seconded and subject to a vote, which was carried.

13.

Timetable of Council and Committee meetings pdf icon PDF 204 KB

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    To approve a programme of ordinary meetings of the Council and note the timetable for its committees for the municipal year – report number LDS208 of the Chief Executive.      (Enclosure)

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Decision:

     

    That the Council approves the dates of meetings for the Council, Cabinet and committees as per the attached timetable

     

    Since the circulation of report number LDS208, a number of updates had been made to the draft programme of meetings. The updated draft was circulated to all members prior to the meeting. The draft programme of meetings as circulated was proposed, seconded and, on being put to the vote, agreed.

     

    17:15 - As the meeting had been in progress for three hours, it was proposed and seconded that, in accordance with article 4.6.4 of the Council’s Constitution, the meeting should continue until all business had been concluded.

14.

Appointment of representatives to outside bodies pdf icon PDF 57 KB

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    To consider nominations to represent the district council on outside bodies – report number LDS207 of the Chief Executive.                                                                             (Enclosure)

    Minutes:

    Decision:

     

    To appoint the Leader (or the Deputy Leader in the Leader’s absence) as the Council’s representative on East Midlands Councils and the Local Government Association

     

    Report number LDS207 asked the Council to make appointments to both East Midlands Councils and the Local Government Association.

     

    It was proposed, seconded and, on being put to the vote, agreed that the Leader (and in his absence, the Deputy Leader) should represent the Council on both bodies.

15.

Amendment to car parking order pdf icon PDF 78 KB

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    Report number LDS211                                                                       (Enclosure)

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Decision:

     

    That the Council adopts the South Kesteven District Council Civil Enforcement Off-Street Parking Places Order 2017 (as attached at Appendix 1 to report number LDS211)

     

    Report number LDS211 sought approval from the Council to adopt the South Kesteven District Council Civil Enforcement Off-Street Parking Places Order 2017 following the expiry of the period of consultation with relevant statutory bodies and the public. The Former Leader proposed that the recommendation made by the outgoing Executive be approved. The proposition was seconded and, on being put to the vote, agreed unanimously.

16.

Governance and Audit annual report and work plan pdf icon PDF 71 KB

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    Report number GAC009 of the Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee.        (Enclosure)

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Decision:

     

    1. Council approves the Annual Report of the Governance and Audit Committee for 2016/17

     

    1. Council approves the indicative work plan and timetable for 2017/18 which reflects the terms of reference of the Governance and Audit Committee

     

    The outgoing Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee presented its annual report for 2016/17 and the draft work programme for 2017/18. He referred to the Committee’s achievements during the year and the increased standards achieved as a result of the hard work of officers and Members. He proposed the recommendations in report number GAC009, which were seconded. On being put to the vote, the recommendations were approved.

17.

Members' Open Questions

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    A 45-minute period in which members may ask questions of the Leader, Executive Members, the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the Policy Development Groups and opposition group leaders excluding the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Development Control Committee, Licensing and Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing Committees and Governance and Audit Committee.

    Minutes:

    Question 1

     

    Councillor Selby asked the Cabinet Member for Environment whether he would join the refuse crews on one of their Christmas rounds as the previous incumbent had.

     

    Question 2

     

    Councillor Dilks asked the Leader what changes he had instituted as Leader Designate regarding personnel matters, office arrangements and changes to the building, under what authority and at what cost.

     

    Question 3

     

    Councillor Bryant addressed a question to the Cabinet Member for Finance about how he proposed to replace the monies lost from falling Revenue Support Grant while meeting rising costs and additional pressures created by the withdrawal of services by other organisations in light of the plans that the Leader revealed during the meeting

     

    Question 4

     

    Councillor Powell asked a question about the impact of government-level changes on the work of the Development Control Committee and its non-political role

     

    Question 5

     

    Councillor Morgan asked the Leader about ensuring that proposals made at the Budget meeting and work begun by the policy development groups would be carried forward

     

    Question 6

     

    Councillor Ashley Baxter asked whether Members of the Cabinet would visit the Deepings after 4 May 2017 to meet with the Ward Councillors and local stakeholders to talk about the services and facilities available in the area

18.

Questions without Discussion

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    To note the list of questions asked under article 8.4.3 of the Council’s Constitution as circulated at the start of the meeting and their reference to the relevant Policy Development Group (subject to decision made at agenda item 11).

    Minutes:

    As agenda item 11a had been approved, which replaced Questions Without Discussion with Members’ Open Questions, this item was withdrawn.

19.

Notices of Motion given under Article 4.9:

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    1.         From Councillor Phil Dilks

     

    This Council resolves to amend its current policy which allows the purchase for investment purposes in property situated outside of South Kesteven and further resolves that only property within South Kesteven shall be considered for purchase for investment purposes.

    Minutes:

    Councillor Dilks had proposed a motion about the Council’s Investment Strategy which allowed the purchase of property situated outside South Kesteven for investment purposes. He explained that he had agreed to withdraw the motion after a commitment from the Leader that the policy and decision to purchase outside the district would be reviewed.

20.

Close of meeting

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    Minutes:

    The meeting was closed at 17:35.