Agenda item

Update from the Leader and announcement on the size and membership of the Cabinet and their remits


It was proposed and seconded that article 4.11.4 of the Council’s Constitution be suspended, removing the time limit for which Members could speak, for this item only. On being put to the vote, this was carried.


The Leader of the Council gave an overview of the previous year. He reminded Members that when he became the Leader of the Council, he considered economic development to be of paramount importance in defining the success of the Council. He described the plans that had been announced in October 2017 for £40m strategic investment and the formation of InvestSK, which, he stated, had transformed the way that Council was working with businesses to help them grow within the district or relocate to the district. He also outlined a key role in promoting arts, culture, heritage and the visitor economy.


The Leader stated that the Council was now firmly led by elected Members, who established priorities, set the budget and then worked with senior managers to deliver. He also stated that the new overview and scrutiny arrangements had given all Members an opportunity to become more involved in decision-making and holding decision-makers to account. The Leader also spoke about keeping scrutiny arrangements under review to ensure that they remained relevant and effective.


Reference was also made to a residents’ survey that was underway, which was the first to be conducted since 2010. A commitment was made that in the future, residents’ surveys would be conducted on a regular basis.


The Leader also commented on a programme of transformation to make the Council sustainable, ensuring that it had the right people, capabilities and processes in place to create the right culture. This work was being led by the Chief Executive who, since his arrival, had worked with officers and Members to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation. The Leader spoke about how the Council was embracing innovation through the Lightbox team.


A number of other key projects from the 2017/18 municipal year were outlined by the Leader, including:


·         The Local Plan, which was due to enter the final stages of consultation

·         Agreement to the principle of the Spitalgate Heath garden village

·         Stamford Georgian Festival and the 50 year anniversary of Stamford’s conservation status

·         The beginning of the development of Wherry’s Lane in Bourne

·         Completion of feasibility work on new leisure facilities for the Deepings and work with architects in relation to leisure facilities in both the Deepings and Stamford


The Leader’s presentation turned to his scheme of delegation. He thanked Cabinet Members for their support throughout the year and confirmed that there would be no changes to the membership of his Cabinet.


The Leader outlined a number of adjustments that were being made to Cabinet Members remits, which included:


·         Councillor Cooke would take on responsibility for strategic commercial ventures, partnerships and projects. He would also take on responsibility from Human Resources

·         Councillor Smith’s remit would be extended to include communities in addition to her existing Portfolio of Health, Wellbeing and Skills

·         Councillor Robins’ remit would be extended to include fairs, historic parks and gardens

·         Councillor Neilson’s remit would become exclusively housing-focussed to provide capacity to drive forward the housing agenda

·         Councillor Stokes would gain responsibility for rate relief for businesses, charities and rural communities

·         Councillor Dr Moseley would take responsibility for business continuity and emergency planning


The remits of all Cabinet Members is set out below.




Councillor Lee

The Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Cultural Services

Councillor K Cooke

The Deputy Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Business Transformation and Commissioning

Councillor King

Cabinet Member for Economy and Development

Councillor Jacky Smith

Cabinet Member for Communities, Health, Wellbeing and Skills

Councillor Robins

Cabinet Member for Retail and Visitor Economy

Councillor Goral

Cabinet Member for Communications and Engagement

Councillor A. Stokes

Cabinet Member for Finance

Councillor Neilson

Cabinet Member for Housing

Councillor Dr. Moseley

Cabinet Member for Environment


Members were also advised that a full copy of the Leader’s Scheme of Delegation would be circulated to them after the meeting.


A number of Members responded to the Leader’s speech, supporting a formal review of scrutiny arrangements; while Members found that arrangements were becoming more established there was recognition that further development was necessary to ensure its effectiveness. Reference was made to the findings of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee report on the effectiveness of local authority overview and scrutiny committees. The Leader clarified that he had not announced a review of the Council’s scrutiny arrangements, adding that it was not his role to intervene in scrutiny. He did suggest that if it was something scrutiny members wanted, they could come together through the Chair of Chairs and decide to conduct a review.


Support was expressed towards the work that was being undertaken by the administration, with particular reference made to heritage, the programmes that were being launched and the way in which local communities were being given a voice.