Agenda item

Public Open Forum

The public open forum will commence at 1.00 p.m. and the following formal business of the Council will commence at 1.30 p.m. or whenever the public open forum ends, if earlier.

Minutes:

Question 1

 

From: Phil Gadd, Grantham

To: Councillor Barry Dobson, the Cabinet Member for Housing

 

“On 1st April 2016 a policy was instigated by SKDC for use of community rooms to regulate use. Part of this involved a charge for the use or hire of the rooms at the sheltered or communal facilities. Any money raised was to be split 40% admin whilst 60% of the revenue was to be returned via the 'Residents Initiatives Fund'

 

The principle behind the fund was to ‘promote social, health and wellbeing for residents’.  This was approved by council on 10th March 2016.

 

SKDC reply to me on 14 March 2019 regarding money raised from the 'Residents Initiatives Fund'

 

1/ The total amount raised through this each year is:

 

2017/18: £12,648 (60% = £7588)

2018/19: £14,322 (60% = £8593)

 

No money has been 'sent back' to date from the fund. The policy underlying this is currently being reviewed.

 

1/ Could you please explain why SKDC has levied over £27000 on residents to improve facilities, yet nothing has been returned?

 

2/ What is the result of the review and when will the money be used as intended?”

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing said the total sum collected was approximately £30,000, which would be spread across approximately 30 schemes. It was hoped that the total funds would be spent by December 2019 and Members were advised that one scheme had already benefitted through the provision of a pool table.

 

Mr. Gadd asked how the funding could be accessed as residents were concerned that the money had been lost. The Cabinet Member for Housing stated schemes would be advised that funding was available, and applications invited for its use.

 

Question 2

 

From: Phil Gadd, Grantham

To: Councillor Kelham Cooke, the Deputy Leader of the Council

 

“I understand at last month’s Full Council Meeting (23/5) that a motion was raised regarding rising crime and additional police funding for the SKDC area. When I asked for the voice recording about that debate I was told that the Jubilee Centre does not have that facility. This has prevented any scrutiny by the public of the actual statements made regarding that meeting.

 

Following release of the Council minutes it was stated that an additional £10 million pounds had been made available following a meeting of Lincs PCC with the Home Office on 21st May 2019.

 

I have an FOI reply (04/2019) from the Lincs PCC on 20th June 

 

Q/Have Lincs Police been awarded a further £10 million pounds from Central Government or is this 'new' funding actually from the recent 11% increase in Local Council Tax increases.

 

RESPONSE:  The Police and Crime Commissioner did not receive an additional £10 million in funding either from Central Government or from the Council Tax precept. 

 

I also asked Bill Skelly, Lincolnshire Chief Constable in an email on 26/5/19 if -

“Lincs Police had won an additional £10 million in EXTRA funding after a meeting of Marc Jones with the Home Secretary on Tuesday 21st May 2019”

 

He replied on 28/5/19

 

Thank you for emailing me regarding the funding for Lincolnshire Police to ask for clarification on the situation.

 

‘My current understanding is that the PCC has been misinterpreted’

                                            -----------------------------------------------------

 

Therefore, could you please explain where this figure of £10million pounds comes from? 

 

Also, have the PCC comments been misinterpreted?”

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council stated that the information provided by Councillor Wootten on 23 May 2019 had been given in good faith. He clarified that there had been a miscommunication between the Police and Crime Commissioner and Councillor Wootten, which had led to the wrong figures being shared. The £10m increase in funding, which was referred to by Councillor Wootten, related to the difference between the 2016/17 budget and the budget for the current year. The Deputy Leader also confirmed that, as stated by Councillor Wootten, the Police and Crime Commissioner had met with the Home Secretary. Following that meeting, confirmation had been received of the award of a one-off grant for £1.8m.

 

Mr. Gadd referred to the difference in budget as an inflationary increase as opposed to the one-off grant, which provided extra, additional funding. He stated that Lincolnshire Police had been using its reserves to sustain the same level of policing. He also referred to a comment that was made at the previous meeting about South Kesteven being a safe place to live and crime figures for the area, which indicated an increase in the crime rate. In response to a request made by Mr. Gadd, the Deputy Leader agreed to confirm the information that he had provided in writing.