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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Jo Toomey 

Items
No. Item

Members stood to observe a minute’s silence in memory of David Nalson, a former Member and Chairman of the Council, who had recently passed away.

19.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Benn, Evans, Forman, Jeal, King, Powell, Stephens, Stevens and Mrs. S. Stokes.

20.

Disclosure of Interests

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

Minutes:

Councillors Lee and Cooke both disclosed interests as Directors of InvestSK, a company limited by guarantee that had been set up by the Council.

21.

Minutes of the meeting held on 24 May 2018 pdf icon PDF 245 KB

                                                                                                                  (Enclosure)

Minutes:

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 24 May 2018 were agreed as a correct record.

 

One Member referred to minute number 16 and a question put during the Members’ Open Questions session related to a planning enforcement issue that concerned a Member of the Council. During the question session, the Leader had been asked whether the Councillor would attend this meeting to apologise to his fellow Councillors, officers and constituents. The Member concerned was not in attendance at the meeting for health reasons and the Leader was asked whether the Council could expect an apology at a future meeting.

 

Members were reminded that the agenda item related to the accuracy of the minutes but the Leader indicated that he would, outside the item, provide a response to the Councillor who asked the question.

22.

Communications (including Chairman's Announcements) pdf icon PDF 48 KB

                                                                                                                  (Enclosure)

Minutes:

Members noted the Chairman’s communications, which were circulated with the agenda. A request was made that the spelling of Councillor Mike Cook’s name be corrected in the list of engagements.

 

One Member referred to the Royal Garden Party, which he had attended with the Chairman of the Council. He wished to express his gratitude to the Council for allowing him to attend. Thanks were specifically proffered to the Members Support Assistant, who had made arrangements for his mother and the Chairman’s Lady to attend the event.

 

Reference was also made to an event held by the Langtoft and Deeping Branch of the Royal British Legion to commemorate RAF100 at which the Chairman had made a speech.

23.

Apportionment of seats on committees pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Report number LDS308 of the Chief Executive.                             (Enclosure)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision:

 

1.     To appoint Councillor Judy Stevens to fill the new Conservative seat on the Development Management Committee

2.     To appoint Councillor Judy Stevens as the Conservative representative to replace Councillor Dobson on the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee

3.     To appoint Councillor Sampson to the Chief Executive’s Appeal Panel

4.     To appoint Councillor Wood to fill the Independent vacancy on the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

An additional item had been added to the agenda, following a change in group of Councillor Judy Stevens from the Independent to the Conservative Group. Report number LDS308 addressed the apportionment of seats to ensure the committees of the Council continued to be politically balanced. The change in political balance meant that the Independent Group gave up a seat on the Development Management Committee and the Chief Executive’s Appeal Panel to the Conservative Group.

 

While the change to the Council’s political composition did not affect the proportionality of the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Stevens’ change of group created a vacancy for an Independent Member. Councillor Dobson had also resigned from the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee, leaving a vacancy for one Conservative Member.

 

It was proposed and seconded that Councillor Stevens remain on the Development Management Committee to fill the new Conservative seat. The Leader also stated it was his intention to gift the seat on the Chief Executive’s Appeal Panel to the Independent Group, to which Councillor Sampson was nominated. Councillor Stevens was nominated to fill the vacancy created by Councillor Dobson’s resignation from the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee while Councillor Wood was nominated to fill the Independent vacancy.

 

Several Members spoke about the change in political balance and the importance of the role that the opposition plays in a democracy in scrutinising and holding the administration to account.

 

On being put to the vote, the proposition was carried.

24.

Members of the Cabinet and the Leader's Scheme of Delegation pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Report number LDS305 of the Leader of the Council.                   (Enclosure)

Minutes:

Report number LDS305 set out changes to the membership of the Cabinet and the Leader’s Scheme of delegation after Councillor King had decided to step down from the Cabinet. Members noted the contents of the report.

25.

Amendments to the Budget Framework

25a

Grounds maintenance pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Report number CFM463 of the Cabinet Member for Finance.     (Enclosure)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision:

 

1.    Council approves the amendment to the 2018/19 capital budget framework in respect of the procurement of equipment for the Grounds Maintenance Service (£450,000)

 

2.    Council approves the amendment to the 2018/19 revenue budget framework in respect of the setting up costs, including premises of £40,000

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance presented report number CFM463 and proposed the recommendations, which were seconded.

 

A number of Members spoke in support of the decision to provide the grounds maintenance service through a local authority controlled company. Some Members referred to the condition of grass verges across the district and a national campaign lobbying for verges to be cut once a year to provide a habitat for wildlife. Councillors were reminded that the responsibility for maintaining grass verges sat with Lincolnshire County Council.

 

On being put to the vote, the proposition was carried.

25b

St. Peter's Hill Re-development - Public Realm pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Report number CFM464 of the Cabinet Member for Finance.     (Enclosure)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision:

 

To approve an amendment to the 2018/19 capital budget framework in respect of the funding for the delivery of the St. Peter’s Hill Grantham public realm project of £1.66m

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance presented report number CFM464, proposing the recommendation within the report, which was seconded.

 

Members who spoke in favour of the proposal referred to the importance of the cinema development in attracting people to Grantham and boosting the local economy, and how the public realm work supported the wider aspirations for the use of the Council building. It was also noted that no aspect of public realm work had been included in the cinema development and that any works should be carried out so that completion coincided with the completion and opening of the cinema.

 

Reference was also made to a glass link bridge between the civic suite and the main Council building, which had initially been proposed as part of the development. This proposal had subsequently been removed and the budget allocated for its construction had been put into a contingency fund for the project. The contingency budget received support during debate.

 

Members who spoke against the proposal stated that they felt the direct access from St. Peter’s Hill to the cinema was an unnecessary expense, when to walk around the building was only a short distance. They also stated that they felt the expenditure was too high at this time.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance responded to a question about the level of disabled facilities grant set out in the approved capital programme. He explained that the Council only receives notification of the grant award on an annual basis.

 

On being put to the vote, the recommendations were approved.

26.

Temporary appointment of parish councillors pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Report number LDS295 of the Deputy Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Communities, Health, Wellbeing and Skills.                                                              (Enclosure)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision:

 

1.    The Council delegates the authority to make temporary appointments of Members to Town and Parish Councils under Section 91 of the Local Government Act 1972 to the Chief Executive, in accordance with the process set out in the appendix to these minutes, and to report any such appointments to the next meeting of the Council

 

2.    The Council approves the amendment to the Constitution to include the recommended delegation as a function at Article 16 of the Constitution

 

The Deputy Leader, in proposing the recommendations in the report and the proposed process for making temporary appointments to Parish and Town Councils explained that there were rare occasions when, due to resignation and insufficient candidates, Parish and Town Councils were inquorate and unable to operate. The proposal would provide a mechanism that would enable the Parish or Town Council to continue to operate until the vacancies were filled. The proposal was seconded and, on being put to the vote, carried.

27.

Recommendations from the Constitution Committee pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Report number LDS304 of the Chairman of the Constitution Committee.    (Enclosure)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision:

 

1.       Article 9 – Regulatory Committees

 

1.1           That Article 9.1.9 a) (viii) of the Constitution is amended by deleting the existing clause and adding a new clause 9.1.9 a) (viii) as follows:

 

“Questions may only be put by Committee members to the applicant, an agent and/or a specialist adviser/consultant whether speaking on behalf of the applicant, for the grant of an application, or against the grant of an application. Questions must be relevant to the application being considered and limited to the following matters:

 

·       Anything that they have specifically referenced in their speech

·       Anything that is contained in the application

·       Anything that has been made in a representation by the speaker in respect of the application

 

Questions may be asked of public speakers by the Chairman and/or Vice-Chairman but only to establish the source of any material facts stated by a public speaker. Questions may be suggested by Committee Members to the Chairman who may put the question to the speaker if they are felt, by the Chairman, to be relevant.”

 

1.2           Article 9.1.9 a) (v) be amended to read

Each person is allowed to speak for a maximum of three minutes and may be required to answer questions in accordance with Article 9.1.9 (a) (viii).

 

2.       Article 16 – Officers

 

2.1     That Article 16 be amended to include the words shown underlined below:

 

          That the Chief Executive is delegated with authority:

 

In liaison with the Leader of the Council, to authorise officers who are suitably trained and qualified to carry out functions when the authorised post becomes vacant or ceases to exist.

 

The Chairman of the Constitution Committee presented report number LDS304, which summarised the recommendations that the Committee made at its meeting on 4 June 2018. The recommendations related to the questioning of public speakers at Development Management Committee meetings and an amendment relating to delegations to officers. The proposals were seconded.

 

During debate, Members speaking against the proposals regarding the questioning of public speakers at meetings of the Development Management Committee felt that they had been introduced to deal with matters that could be dealt with by the Chairman in his management of the meeting. They felt that members of the public who gave up their time should be able, and would expect, to answer basic questions. It was also suggested that, as non-experts, Committee members could find it difficult to make judgements on applications and being able to ask questions helped them in this role.

 

An amendment was proposed that recommendations 1.1 and 1.2 be replaced with the following:

 

“That the item [questioning of public speakers at Development Management Committee meetings] be referred back to the Constitution Committee with a request that further research is done as to whether members of the public would welcome questions from members of the Development Management Committee.”

 

The amendment was seconded. The proposal set out at 2.1 remained as originally put.

 

Some Members expressed support for the amendment, sharing their experiences on the Committee and their view that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Change of name of the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Report number LDS306 of the Deputy Leader of the Council.     (Enclosure)

Minutes:

Decision:

 

The Council

 

1.         Agrees the change of name of the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee to the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

2.         Agrees the change of terminology for the remit of the Committee from “tourism” to “visitor economy”

 

3.         Agrees the relevant changes to the Council’s Constitution.

 

Reference was made to the meeting of the Culture and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Committee that met on 10 July 2018. At the meeting the Committee agreed to ask Council to amend its name to the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee as the definition encapsulated a wider range of visitors than tourism. The recommendations in report number LDS306 were proposed, seconded and, on being put to the vote, agreed.

 

15:20-15:41 – the meeting adjourned

 

29.

Appointment of Section 151 and Chief Finance Officer pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Report number CMT002 of the Leader of the Council.                  (Enclosure)

Minutes:

Decision:

 

1.       Council approves the appointment of Debbie Muddimer (formerly Mogg), Director of Resources, to the post of Section 151 and Chief Finance Officer for South Kesteven District Council on a permanent basis with effect from 26 July 2018

 

2.       Council delegates to the Strategic Director, Resources those functions and delegations set out in the Constitution as delegations to the Chief Finance Officer/Section 151 Officer

 

The Strategic Director, Resources left the meeting

 

In proposing the recommendations in report number CMT002, the Leader referred to Ms. Muddimer’s appointment on an interim basis on a shared basis with Rutland County Council. Subsequently Ms. Muddimer was appointed as the Strategic Director, Resources for South Kesteven District Council and this proposal related to her appointment as Section 151 Officer on a permanent basis. The proposition was seconded and, reference was made to the work that the Strategic Director had undertaken from the time she took on the role on an interim basis.

 

Several Members spoke of their positive experiences of working with Ms. Muddimer, including the quality of information provided and the way she had dealt with their queries.

 

Some Members expressed concern about the process that had been used to appoint the Strategic Director. They stated that whilst they had no objection with the individual, they were concerned about the process for recruitment as there was no advert placed.  One Member suggested the process contravened the Council’s recruitment policies, the Equalities Act 2010 and the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Some members of the Employment Committee stated that they had expressed concerns about the recruitment process at meetings of the Employment Committee at which the appointment was considered.

 

The Leader responded by saying that the approach for recruitment was agreed at a meeting of Group Leaders, where a full range of recruitment options were put forward from which the Group Leaders could choose. He stated that the consensus of those present at the meeting was to take on board the feedback of the Chief Executive that Ms. Muddimer had done an excellent job in her interim role.

 

On being put to the vote, the proposal was carried.

 

The Strategic Director, Resources returned to the meeting

30.

Meetings of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Report number LDS303 of the Leader of the Council.                   (Enclosure)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 10 May 2018 and 7 June 2018 as appended to report number LDS303.

 

One Member asked the Leader about recommendations made by the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee in respect of a street lighting policy for the district, which was considered at the Cabinet’s meeting on 12 July 2018. Members were advised that the minutes of that meeting would be presented to the Council meeting in September 2018.

 

Another Member expressed their gratitude to the Leader and the Leader of Lincolnshire County Council who had both written in support of the Grantham Hospital campaign.

31.

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 Development Management Committee, Licensing and Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing Committees and Governance and Audit Committee.

Minutes:

Question 1

 

In the absence of the Chairman of the Employment Committee, Councillor Baxter addressed a question to the Leader of the Opposition. He asked whether the Opposition Group Leader, considering the Council had, since December 2017, appointed 11 people outside its recruitment and selection policy with no advert or competitive selection process, thought this was compliant with equalities legislation, the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and the principles of natural justice. The Opposition Group Leader stated he did not know the facts, suggesting if that was the case it may be necessary to find out more.

 

Question 2

 

Councillor Dilks asked, given concerns raised during the meeting and elsewhere about the recent appointments of senior staff in the Council, whether it was time to request an accountable and democratic review of the Council’s recruitment procedures.

 

In the absence of the Chairman of the Employment Committee, the Leader responded that the Employment Committee had been created to enable the opposition to do that. He said that backbench opposition Members, if they had concerns should look at the minutes of the Employment Committee and talk to their group leader. He said that the Council needed the best staff to meet its aspirations and the Council had to be pragmatic about how it got those people to come and work for it.

 

Question 3

 

Councillor Selby asked what Margaret Thatcher had specifically done for the town of Grantham that justified the erection of a statue of her in town without a local referendum on a matter he considered both sensitive and controversial. Councillor Ray Wootten was invited to respond, stating that he was happy to promote a statue for Grantham.

 

Question 4

 

Councillor Sampson asked the Cabinet Member for Housing about the Council’s proposals for the design of future council housing to create dwellings that mitigate the effects of climate change whether they be extreme hot or cold.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing stated that the Council was looking at a pipeline of available sites for housing. As part of the same project, different methods of construction were being considered to ensure that the properties were suitable for the future. Architects and designers would be asked to incorporate methods into construction that would reduce heat loss and also reduce the amount of heat coming from the exterior.

 

 

Question 5

 

Councillor Morgan asked what measures the Council was taking in planning for Brexit, and she asked whether it was appropriate, given the agricultural nature of the district, to be building on prime agricultural land.

 

The Leader said that the Council would respond to information from Government. He added that whatever the outcome of negotiations, the Council had to trust the Government to make decisions. He said that there was enough on the local agenda and that the Council should wait and see what the Government’s response would be, then the Council could respond.

 

Question 6

 

Councillor Cook referred to recent events held in Cleethorpes to commemorate RAF100, including the benefits they had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Notices of Motion given under Article 4.9:

32a

Councillor Ashley Baxter

This Council is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. It recognises the environmental and financial costs of its use of resources.

 

This Council resolves to reduce the volume of paper produced for Council meetings. This will be achieved by ceasing the circulation of hard copies of all cabinet paperwork as part of the meeting agenda packs.

 

The documents will continue to be available on-line and paper copies of the documents will be issued to individual Councillors on request.

Minutes:

Decision

 

The Council did not support the motion put by Councillor Baxter

 

Councillor Baxter proposed his motion:

 

This Council is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. It recognises the environmental and financial costs of its use of resources.

 

This Council resolves to reduce the volume of paper produced for Council meetings. This will be achieved by ceasing the circulation of hard copies of all cabinet paperwork as part of the meeting agenda packs.

 

The documents will continue to be available on-line and paper copies of the documents will be issued to individual Councillors on request.

 

In so doing, he made reference to the size of the last full Council agenda and alluded to the cost of paper, printing and postage. He suggested that much of the paperwork could be distributed earlier through Members’ pigeonholes, where it could be left for them to collect when they came to the building or that Members could view the information on their iPads. He also expressed concern that Members did not seem to read them with a view to asking questions at full Council meetings. Reference was also made to the timeliness with which information was circulated; by the time it reached Council, decisions were too late to be called-in or they would have carried their journey through the Council’s decision-making arrangements. The motion was seconded.

 

Members were reminded that any Councillor could request to receive agendas electronically by signing a form to confirm their agreement to the arrangement. It was, however, noted that a Member was constitutionally entitled to receive hard copies of any papers they choose. It was also acknowledged that some people needed to be provided with hard copy information because of health conditions while others stated they struggled to work with electronic versions.

 

Some members suggested that the solution applied at this meeting, of circulating only the minutes of the Cabinet meetings, rather than all agenda papers, presented the best compromise.

 

The intention of circulating Cabinet minutes and reports at Council meetings had been to increase the transparency of the work of the Cabinet and provide all Members with the opportunity to examine Cabinet papers.

 

The proposer of the motion was given the opportunity to sum up. He said he had originally tried to find a solution outside the Council meeting. He reiterated that documents continue to be available online and emphasised the environmental and economic benefits of reducing the amount of paper used.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was lost.

32b

Councillor Phil Dilks

Last year, the local Police Station which has served the Deepings community for many years was closed to the public as a cost-saving measure.

 

A group of volunteers were determined to get it reopened if possible and eventually, after a meeting with the sector inspector, it was agreed that if sufficient volunteers came forward, the station could be reopened.

 

A recruitment drive on social media resulted in a team of seven volunteers and the station was reopened in April 2018.

 

It is now open to the public Monday to Friday 10am to 12 noon each day.

The volunteer team work in the office to support local police, take messages for them and engage with members of the public visiting the station.

 

The volunteers have also spruced up the Police station, updated the Notice Board and cleaned down the entrance ramp to make the station more welcoming.

 

A Community Day is planned for Wednesday 1st August when the public will be invited to meet the volunteers and their local Policing Team.

 

I believe this excellent support for our local police is making a significant and sustained contribution to our community - which is why I have nominated Deeping Police Volunteer Team for this year’s prestigious Police Volunteer Awards run by the Home Office.

 

This motion seeks the support of the full Council for the nomination.

 

Therefore, in recognising and congratulating Deeping Police Volunteer Team for their sustained effort in assisting local policing, this Council resolves to:

 

Support and endorse the nomination for Deeping Police Volunteer Team to be recognised in the 2018 Lord Ferrars Police Awards.

Minutes:

Decision

 

In recognising and congratulating Deeping Police Volunteer Team for their sustained effort in assisting local policing, this Council resolves to:

 

Support and endorse the nomination for Deeping Police Volunteer Team to be recognised in the 2018 Lord Ferrers Police Awards.

 

Councillor Dilks was invited to propose his motion:

 

Last year, the local Police Station which has served the Deepings community for many years was closed to the public as a cost-saving measure.

 

A group of volunteers were determined to get it reopened if possible and eventually, after a meeting with the sector inspector, it was agreed that if sufficient volunteers came forward, the station could be reopened.

 

A recruitment drive on social media resulted in a team of seven volunteers and the station was reopened in April 2018.

It is now open to the public Monday to Friday 10am to 12 noon each day.

 

The volunteer team work in the office to support local police, take messages for them and engage with members of the public visiting the station.

 

The volunteers have also spruced up the Police station, updated the Notice Board and cleaned down the entrance ramp to make the station more welcoming.

 

A Community Day is planned for Wednesday 1st August when the public will be invited to meet the volunteers and their local Policing Team.

 

I believe this excellent support for our local police is making a significant and sustained contribution to our community - which is why I have nominated Deeping Police Volunteer Team for this year’s prestigious Police Volunteer Awards run by the Home Office.

 

This motion seeks the support of the full Council for the nomination.

 

Therefore, in recognising and congratulating Deeping Police Volunteer Team for their sustained effort in assisting local policing, this Council resolves to:

 

Support and endorse the nomination for Deeping Police Volunteer Team to be recognised in the 2018 Lord Ferrers Police Awards.

 

He explained that a team of volunteers had taken action to re-open the Deepings police station, which had been closed. He commended their work which had seen the police station open for two hours, five days a week. He explained that to recognise their work he had nominated them for a Lord Ferrers Policing Award, which recognised volunteers’ contributions to policing. While the nomination had had to be submitted to meet the deadline, the motion asked Council to follow this up with a letter of endorsement. The proposition was seconded.

 

Several other members spoke in support of the work that had been undertaken by the volunteers, with some references being made to reductions that had been made to the number of police officers.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was carried unanimously.

33.

Close of meeting

Minutes:

The meeting was closed at 16:35.