Agenda

Council - Thursday, 30th September, 2021 1.00 pm

Venue: TBC

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

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.

2.

Apologies for absence

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3.

Disclosure of Interests

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

4.

Communications (including Chairman's Announcements) pdf icon PDF 99 KB

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5.

Minutes of the meeting held on 15 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

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6.

Minutes of the extraordinary meeting held on 2 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

7.

Designation of Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 231 KB

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    To consider the designation of the Council’s Monitoring Officer.

8.

Members' Open Questions

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    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.

9.

Membership of Committees

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    To appoint Conservative Group Councillors to fill a vacant seat on the following Committees:

     

    -       Constitution Committee

    -       Planning Committee

    -       Rural Overview and Scrutiny Committee

10.

Review of the Council's Constitution pdf icon PDF 253 KB

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    To consider a proposed process for undertaking and implementing a comprehensive review of the Council’s Constitution.

11.

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

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11a

Councillor Graham Jeal

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    “That the Council approves the commencement of a Community Governance Review in relation to the establishment of a Town Council for Grantham”.

     

11b

Councillor Charmaine Morgan

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    “This Council believes that healthy high streets are essential for community cohesion, civic pride, employment, shopping, services and leisure. But many shops and businesses were struggling even before the Covid pandemic: high street retail employment fell in more than three-quarters of local authorities between 2015 and 2018 according to the Office of National Statistics and more than half of all UK consumers were shopping online before the pandemic.

     

    This Council notes that retail is among the sectors most affected by the coronavirus pandemic and retail workers have been on the frontline of the crisis throughout. The almost complete shutdown of non-essential shops between March and June 2020 has hit businesses hard, and the need for social distancing has changed the way many businesses operate, reducing footfall. The pandemic has accelerated what, in many cases, has been a longer trend of lower footfall and changing shopping habits. As the Portas Review a decade ago acknowledged, the form and function of many high streets needs to radically change if they are to adapt and survive. This Council welcomes the willingness of Government to acknowledge the problems and come forward with initiatives in response to these challenges such has the furlough scheme, the Covid support business loans, and the High Street Taskforce. However, as the Treasury Select Committee stated in 2019, the current system of Business Rates places an unfair burden on “bricks and mortar” businesses compared to online ones, and the Business Rate system needs radical overhaul.

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    This Council resolves to:

     

    ·         Write to the Government to urge them to undertake an urgent review of business rates in order to support high street businesses recover from the pandemic and level the playing field between online and high street businesses, to make it fair and sustainable for all.

    ·         Sign up to the Co-operative Party’s Unlock the High Street Campaign and explore what local action can be taken to revive our high streets now whilst business rates are reviewed.

    ·         Sign South Kesteven District Council up to the Co-operative Party’s campaign to devolve the Towns Fund, Levelling Up Fund, UK Shared Prosperity Fund and other national funding pots, to give local communities, councils and regions the ultimate say in how it is spend in their area.

    ·         Explore the creation of Community Improvement Districts to reconnect communities with the levers that drive economic development in town centres and create an equal partner-ship of business and community organisations to galvanise action at a local level.

    ·         • Make any data held by the council on ownership of high street properties public and in an accessible format, so that community groups seeking to buy empty shops through a community share offer have the information they need to do so.

    ·         Make full use of S215 planning enforcement powers where empty units are attracting antisocial behaviour or creating an eyesore on the high street.

    ·         Proactively contact landlords of vacant premises (and work with Chambers of Commerce, Landlord Associations and BID managers) to explore meanwhile use options and/or encourage alternative rental models  ...  view the full agenda text for item 11b

11c

Councillor Ashley Baxter

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    Public Consultation regarding Planning Service Review and Action Plan

     

    The Council has paid over £40,000 to a private consultancy (Cratus) to undertake a review of the SKDC Planning Service. The review has been presented to the Governance and Audit Committee and Planning Committees and contains 29 recommendations. It is said to recognise the importance of planning as a critical component in supporting economic growth and unlocking future prosperity of local communities.

     

    The Planning Service Review has received a mixed and luke-warm response from Councillors. If implemented via constitutional and other procedural amendments, it will have a massive impact on the way in which planning applications are dealt with by the Council including a significant change in the level of involvement and influence that Councillors can have.

     

    Recommendation

     

    The Council instructs the relevant Cabinet Member co-ordinate a public consultation or residents and stakeholders before any further decision on Cratus is taken to Constitution Committee, Cabinet or Council.

11d

Councillor Phil Dilks

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    “The Deepings Leisure Centre

     

    This Council welcomes the recent frank admission by the Leader that decades of failure have led to The Deepings currently having an unusable Leisure Centre.

    Council resolves to launch an urgent independent inquiry to investigate all aspects of what led to the current situation including:

     

    • Why proper maintenance was not carried out year-on-year

     

    • Why the Deepings Leisure Centre lease was never signed

     

    • Why County Council funding of £124,000 a year to support Deeping Leisure Centre was withdrawn in 2014 unlike similar funding for the North Kesteven Council facility at North Hykeham which was continued to be paid by LCC

     

    • Why no site for the long-promised replacement Deepings Leisure Centre has been agreed

     

    • To establish whether funding for a new-build Deepings Leisure Centre was ever available”