Venue: Meres Leisure Centre
Contact: Democratic Services
At this stage of the meeting a Member queried why the Chairman had not used her discretion to allow public speaking, further to receipt of a number of requests.
The Chairman asked the Deputy Chief Executive to confirm the constitutional position regarding public speaking at extraordinary meetings of the Council. It was confirmed that there was no provision in the Constitution for public speaking at extraordinary meetings of Full Council and that such provision would be at the discretion of the Chairman in facilitating the meeting.
It was noted that public speaking had been permitted at the extraordinary meeting of Cabinet where this issue had been discussed and that Councillors should be able to sufficiently represent their residents’ views at this meeting of Council.
The Chairman stood by her decision not to allow members of the public to speak but would allow Councillors to ask direct questions to the Leader of the Council as part of the debate, which he would be permitted to answer.
In view of the only public participation on this matter taking place at the extraordinary meeting of Cabinet, a question was raised as to whether the minutes of that meeting had been made available to the Council. It was noted that the minutes were published on the Council’s website on 1 September 2021. The meeting had also been broadcast live and was available for viewing on the Council’s YouTube channel.
Register of attendance and apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bob Adams, David Bellamy, John Cottier, Paul Fellows, Helen Goral, Jan Hansen, Ms Jane Kingman, Nikki Manterfield, Dr Peter Moseley, Ian Selby, Lee Steptoe, Sarah Trotter, Dean Ward and Sue Woolley.
Disclosure of Interests
Members are asked to disclose any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.
No interests were disclosed.
Councillor Ashley Baxter requested that it was recorded that he had family members who regularly used the facilities at the Deepings Leisure Centre.
Members received a report from the Cabinet Member for Leisure on the proposed cessation of the management and operation of the Deepings Leisure Centre.
On 29 July 2021, in consideration of the health and safety risk to the public and staff, the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Leisure, took the decision to temporarily close the Deepings Leisure Centre, using the emergency powers available under Article 16 of the Constitution.
A report on the future of the Leisure Centre had been considered and discussed at a previous Extraordinary Meeting of the Cabinet, held on 17 August 2021, but any decision making had been deferred to an extraordinary meeting of full Council.
The Leader of the Council stated that the Deepings Leisure Centre was of great importance to the residents of the Deepings and the Council. Any decision regarding the Leisure Centre would be weighted by finances and the Council remained committed to its ambition of developing a new leisure centre in the Deepings. It was noted that Members had been given an opportunity to tour the leisure centre and that the Council had continued to engage with its advisors to assess the situation comprehensively.
The Leader of the Council made an alternative proposal to those recommended in the report, as follows:
1) That the Deepings Leisure Centre remain closed due to the known health and safety risks.
2) Provides a one-off budget, of up to £100K, to commission a full structural survey and bring forward refurbishment options for Deepings Leisure Centre in order to assess the level of work necessary to remedy the health and safety issues, and further extend the operational life of the current Leisure Centre.
3) Provides delegated authority to the Director of Housing and Property and the Head of Leisure to undertake negotiations with Lincolnshire County Council and The Anthem Trust in order to secure a viable operational lease of the Deepings Leisure Centre.
4) That the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee consider a further report on the options for the refurbishment of the Deepings Leisure Centre, together with the associated costs and recommend to Cabinet the optimum way forward.
5) That a report be provided to Cabinet which should include the recommendations from the joint meeting of the Culture and Visitor Economy and Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committees, together with an update on the discussions to secure a leasehold interest in Deepings Leisure Centre, before making a recommendation to Council.
The proposal was seconded and Members entered in to debate:
· A Member commented on the use of the word ‘endorsed’ in the second paragraph of the Report. It was noted that Cabinet had considered the report, which recommended that South Kesteven District Council ceased the management and operation of the Deepings Leisure Centre, but they had not endorsed the recommendations.
The Deputy Chief Executive agreed that ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
Close of meeting
The Chairman closed the meeting at 16:26