Agenda and minutes

Council - Thursday, 26th November, 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: Virtual meeting - This meeting is being held remotely using Skype for Business. View directions

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No. Item

Leader update on Tier Category

The Leader gave a brief update in relation to Covid-19.  Following lockdown, which ended on 2 December 2020, the whole of Lincolnshire including South Kesteven had been placed in the highest Tier 3 category.  This was despite South Kesteven’s infection rate being below the national average.  A letter had been sent to the Government making representation about the tier structure, which the Leader had signed together with all other Lincolnshire authorities.


The Leader reminded Members that Covid-19 continued to be a real threat and that it was important that everyone followed the Government’s guidance to bring down the infection rate.   He praised the community resilience across South Kesteven during the pandemic and stated that South Kesteven District Council continued to work to protect both residents and staff and maintain critical services and support local businesses during this time.  The Council would do everything it could to support businesses in tier 3.  Business grants were being allocated and Government were being lobbied for vital additional support for businesses.   Residents would continue to be updated about restrictions, guidance and help available.  A review of the tier would be taken after 16 December 2020 and he urged everyone to continue to follow public health advice in relation to Covid-19.



Public Open Forum

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    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.


    No questions or statements were received.


Register of attendance and apologies for absence

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    Apologies for absence were received from Councillors’ Broughton, Dawson, Manterfield and Hannah Westropp.


    Late attendance was received from Councillor Morgan.


Disclosure of Interests

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


    Members were reminded what constituted a Pecuniary Disclosable Interest (DPI) by the Chairman.  The following Members’ disclosed a DPI in relation to agenda item 12a and/or 12b:


    Councillor Kelly as she was a trustee of Bourne United Charities which let properties and she was also the Chairman of Bourne Almshouses which had properties.

    Councillor Knowles as he was a trustee of Bourne United Charities.

    Councillor Robins as he was a private landlord.

    Councillor Stevens as she was a member of Deeping St James United Charities which let properties and also her husband and son were private landlords.

    Councillor Trollope-Bellew as her husband was a private landlord.

    Councillor Whittington as he was a private landlord for residential properties. 


Minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 375 KB

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    The minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2020 were proposed, seconded and agreed as a correct record.



Exempt minute, Council 1 October 2020 - Corporate Restructure

    To receive an exempt minute on the Corporate Restructure, at the meeting of

    Council on 1 October 2020.


Communications (including Chairman's Announcements) pdf icon PDF 152 KB

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    An overview of the Chairman’s engagements October – November 2020.



    The Council noted the Chairman’s engagements, which had been restricted due to Covid-19.


Formation of LeisureSK Ltd pdf icon PDF 430 KB

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    This report requests additional Director appointments to complement the Board of LeisureSK Ltd.  Council is also asked to approve the level of management fee which may be required to be provided to the company for the period January 2021 to December 2021, and that an element of this is provided upfront to LeisureSK Ltd as working capital to cover any necessary costs.


    The Deputy Leader of the Council presented the report, which requested additional Directors to be appointed to the board of LeisureSK Ltd.  He also asked for an amendment at recommendation one, to include the Chief Executive as a Director of LeisureSK Ltd. 


    The Council were also being asked to approve a level of management fee not exceeding £500,000, which may be required to be provided to the company for the period January 2021 to December 2021.  An upfront element of this fee, £250,000, was to be provided to LeisureSK Ltd as working capital to cover any necessary costs.  The Deputy Leader also asked that the word Limited be included after LeisureSK at recommendation three as a further amendment to the recommendations before Council.   The five-year business plan for LeisureSK Ltd had been endorsed by the Companies Committee on 21 October 2020.


    The proposal was seconded.


    Debate then followed on the recommendations before Council and the inclusion of the Chief Executive as a further Director.


    Concern was expressed about the proposed appointment of the Chief Executive as a Director. Some Members felt that there was a conflict of interest between the Director role for LeisureSK Ltd and that of the Chief Executive of the Council.   Clarity was also asked on whether it was the person or post that was the Director position.  It was confirmed that it was the person holding that position, if the person no longer worked for the Council, they would resign from the Director position.


    The Deputy Leader reiterated his recommendation to include the Chief Executive as a Director and stated that the Chief Executive did have knowledge of the leisure industry and all procedures relating to the running of LeisureSK Ltd would be followed.


    A question was asked in relation to the financial aspects outlined in the report and the assumed business rate relief to which the Interim Director of Finance responded.


    A point of order was raised in relation to the nature of the debate before Members and it was confirmed that this should not take the form of a question and answer session.  It was proposed and seconded to suspend Standing Orders so that Members could speak more than once but on being put to the vote the proposition failed.


    Further discussion followed on the set up of the Company and the significant work being undertaken due to the current volatility of the leisure market and Covid-19. 


    The formation of LeisureSK Ltd was welcomed by Members to improve the current leisure provision within the district. It was however, felt that a more political balance was required within the Directorship of the company and it was proposed that the Independent Group Leader be appointed as a Director, which was seconded and debate supporting the appointment followed.  During debate a further proposition was made for a non-aligned member to be on the board of Directors and this was seconded.


    Clarification of the role of a Director on the Board of LeisureSK Ltd was given and confirmation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.


Strategic Land Acquisition in South Kesteven pdf icon PDF 339 KB

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    The purpose of this report is to obtain an executive decision to authorise the acquisition of a parcel of land in the South Kesteven area and approval of the necessary budget allocation.


    Due to the commercial sensitivities that apply to the land in question, the details are contained in the exempt appendices attached to this report. These appendices are exempt under paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 for the reasons referred to in paragraph 1.2 of the report.


    The Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations introduced the item, which concerned the acquisition of a parcel of land in South Kesteven.  He apologised for the lateness of the papers before Members and the Monitoring Officer explained the reason for the late papers, which had been posted and emailed to all Members.


    Members were reminded that if they wished to discuss the detail of the exempt appendix, which contained commercially sensitive information, then the meeting would have to go into closed session and the press and public be excluded.


    The parcel of land was situated in an important significant area and was considered strategically important to the Council’s growth ambitions.  An agile approach had been taken due to the need to act quickly.


    Most Members were supportive of the proposals as outlined within the report but some Members felt that they had not had enough time to consider the report due to its late circulation.  One of the Ward Members for the area expressed concern that they had not been notified in advance of other Members.  As some Members wished to ask questions on the exempt appendix, it was proposed that, the meeting go into exempt session.


    A proposal was put forward to rescind the early decision to have recorded votes for each decision due to the length of time they took.  However, it was stated that a recorded vote would have to be taken to rescind the original vote. Due to the technical issues some Members were having, it was felt that a recorded vote was the best option.


    A recorded vote was taken for the meeting to go into exempt session, which was AGREED.





    Councillor Bob Adams


    Councillor Ashley Baxter

    Councillor Pam Bosworth



    Councillor Kelham Cooke



    Councillor John Cottier



    Councillor Helen Crawford



    Councillor Phil Dilks



    Councillor Barry Dobson



    Councillor Paul Fellows



    Councillor Breda Griffin



    Councillor Graham Jeal



    Councillor Gloria Johnson



    Councillor Rosemary Kaberry-Brown



    Councillor Anna Kelly



    Councillor Jane Kingman



    Councillor Philip Knowles



    Councillor Annie Mason



    Councillor Penny Milnes



    Councillor Virginia Moran



    Councillor Charmaine Morgan



    Councillor Dr Peter Moseley



    Councillor Susan Sandall



    Councillor Ian Selby



    Councillor Jacky Smith



    Councillor Judy Smith



    Councillor Lee Steptoe



    Councillor Judy Stevens



    Councillor Adam Stokes



    Councillor Ian Stokes



    Councillor Jill Thomas



    Councillor Rosemary Trollope- Bellew



    Councillor Sarah Trotter



    Councillor Dean Ward



    Councillor Amanda Wheeler



    Councillor Mark Whittington



    Councillor Paul Wood



    Councillor Sue Woolley



    Councillor Linda Wootten



    Councillor Ray Wootten








    (16:44 Councillor Exton returned to the meeting)


    (16:48 Press and Public excluded from the meeting)


    (17:27 Press and Public returned to the meeting)


    (17:29 Councillor Fellows left the meeting)


    When the meeting returned to open session, a recorded vote was taken on the recommendations contained within the report.


    On being put to the vote it was AGREED that:


    1.          Council approves the necessary budget allocation to purchase the site as stated within Exempt Appendix 1 paragraph 3.1 of the Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations report and the associated costs following acquisition.

    2.          Council approves an increase in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.


Acquisition of Land in South Kesteven


Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 325 KB


Housing Compliance Audit 2020 including Riverside Inquiry and Housing Development Update pdf icon PDF 490 KB


Updates from the Leader of the Council


    As the extended time limit had been reached, no updates were given by the Leader.


Meetings of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 305 KB

    The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 13 October 2020 (approved by the Cabinet on 3 November 2020) are provided for Councillors’ information. The minutes of the meeting held on 3 November 2020 will be made available at a future meeting of the Council following their approval by the Cabinet. (This item includes an exempt appendix, which can be found at item 15 of the agenda pack).

    Additional documents:


    As the extended time had been reached, this issue was not discussed.


Meetings of Cabinet - Appendix 2


Decisions made under urgency provisions pdf icon PDF 314 KB

    This report sets out those decisions that have been made under urgency provisions set out within the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 and the Council’s Constitution.


    ·            General Exception – disposal of a Council Asset – St. Martin’s Park, Stamford


    As the extended time limit had been reached, this issue was deferred to a meeting to be arranged.



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.


    As the extended time limit had been reached, no Members’ open questions were taken.


Notices of Motion given under Article 4.9 of the Council's Constitution:


Councillor Charmaine Morgan

    This Council will undertake an urgent and complete review of the management and enforcement of environmental regulations in relation to the maintenance of the wellbeing and safety of private tenants and other residents within the South Kesteven District.

    a)         The review will include the examination of communications and formal complaints received in relation to the failure of private landlords and/or tenants to comply with legislative requirements.

    b)         The review will consider how promptly and how effectively those complaints are handled.

    c)          An examination will take place of existing national legislation

    d)         the procedures implemented by South Kesteven District Council, and the speed and level of enforcement action and use of escalation taken by South Kesteven District Council Environmental Officers, particularly where there is an issue relating to safety and the wellbeing of tenants and residents affected.

    e)         It will identify if adequate resource has been allocated to the Environmental team to enable officers to carry out their duties fully to ensure South Kesteven District Council remains compliant.

    f)           The findings of the review will be reported back to full Council with any issues identified and agreed action/resources required to address them.


    As the extended time limit had been reached, the motion was deferred to a meeting to be arranged.


Councillor Charmaine Morgan

    Recognising there is a shortage of affordable social housing and need to support all, including our most vulnerable residents, South Kesteven District Council members support the provision of an SKDC funded Rent Guarantor Scheme or Guaranteed Rent Scheme to enable residents in receipt of benefit income or a pension to gain access to housing in the private rented sector. 

    a)         It provides an assurance to private landlords and housing associations that their rental costs and potential repair costs will be met for the duration of the Term of the Contract. 

    b)         It offers councils the ability to re-house people, notably in receipt of benefits, or, low income, otherwise unable to access private rented housing left in inappropriate accommodation and/or for prolonged periods on the council waiting list. 

    c)          The scheme also enables the council to agree predefined standards with both tenant and landlord. 



    As the extended time limit had been reached, the motion was deferred to a meeting to be arrranged.


Close of meeting

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    The Chief Executive informed Members that a meeting would be arranged as soon as possible to consider those items only that had been deferred.


    The meeting closed at 17:37pm.