Agenda and minutes

Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 3rd May, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - South Kesteven House, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Comments from members of the public

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    To receive comments or views from members of the public at the Committee’s discretion.


    There were none.


Apologies for absence

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    No apologies for absence had been received.


Disclosure of interests

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    Councillor Ben Green declared that he was a full-time employee of the Woodland Trust.


Action notes from Joint Scrutiny - Deepings Leisure Centre held on 30 November 2021 pdf icon PDF 206 KB

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    It was proposed, seconded and AGREED, that the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.


Action notes of the meeting held on 22 February 2022 pdf icon PDF 142 KB

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    It was proposed, seconded and AGREED, that the action notes from the meeting held on 22 February 2022 be confirmed as a correct record.


Updates from previous meeting

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    There were none.


    There were none.


Grantham Future High Street Fund pdf icon PDF 298 KB

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    The report provides a programme overview and update on the progress of the Future High Streets Fund projects in Grantham following the award of £5.56 million by the government to deliver the programme in April 2021.

    Additional documents:


    The Leader of the Council provided the Committee with a presentation that provided progress made since receiving the Future High Streets Fund (£5.56m) that had been awarded to the Council in April 2021. The Committee were reminded that the programme had been condensed into two and a half years.


    Four key areas were highlighted on a map as part of the programme area:


    ·       Station approach public realm (point A) – improved pedestrian and cycling access between the railway station and the town centre.

    ·       Marketplace public realm (point B) – improvements to create an open space for events and as the focal point of the town.

    ·       Strategic site acquisition (point C) – to enable station approach and mixed-use development of stage one.

    ·       Delivery of a grant programme (point D) - to support the conversion of unused and underutilised upper floor retail space to residential accommodation.


    It was highlighted that the draft delivery programme and public realm projects would be delivered alongside each other, between August and November 2023.


    The Leader of the Council outlined the funding decision-making process, which included working partners involved.


    The Council were contributing £379,000 as match-funding to develop events and promote the town, funding a new Grantham Engagement Manager who will bring stakeholders together to help support and promote the town. A group of the stakeholders/shareholders would be brought together to form a town team, who would act as champions to the town.


    It was noted that the Future High Street Funds board meet on a regular basis and would continue to engage with Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


    One Member raised concerns in relation to the report:


    ·       Clarification was sought on the boundary conversion on the upper floors and whether the Council or government rules determined the location. 

    ·       Concern over the multiple use and purpose of the market square and whether the alterations would be able to withstand the weight of vehicles transporting fairground rides.

    ·       Concern on why the proposals set out in the report did not reflect the findings of the workshops run by Invest SK Ltd and what evidence supported the proposed changes. 

    ·       Concern over Grantham’s busy nightlife and the proposed plans for residential accommodation on upper levels above shops and how this would be managed.

    ·       Concern over a redevelopment area and the need for more parking spaces in Grantham.


    The Leader of the Council clarified some queries raised by a member:


    ·       That the upper-level accommodation government rules were centred around the centre of any town. Grantham’s town centre was large and could reduce in size to drive up the quality in a defined area.

    ·       A meeting was due to take place to discuss the scheme that may prohibit or cause impact on the mid-lent fair or other events in the marketplace. The weight on the road surface was being explored.

    ·       That the Council were working within the rules for the scheme that the government had set out in relation to public feedback.

    ·       That the empty units to residential  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.


Local Authority Search Figures pdf icon PDF 199 KB

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    To provide the Overview and Scrutiny Committee with an update regarding Local Land Charges performance.


    The Assistant Director of Governance presented the report that outlined an update following a previous report in September 2021, where the average search was at a 22-day average turnaround time and at the highest figure of 32 days.


    It was reported that the performance had significantly improved in Land Charges. From September 2021 to February 2022, the department’s performance was below the 10-day target set as an authority. It was noted that external resource was utilised to address the significant backlog, which was ceased in December 2021.


    Since December 2021, the Land Charges team consisted of two full-time equivalent posts. An additional resource was required within the team, which was set out as part of the Councils budget setting. The additional resource recruitment had closed, and interviews would be undertaken for 1.5 full-time equivalent posts imminently.


    In March 2022, the turnaround time had exceeded the 10-day target due to annual leave within the team and a spike in searches received.


    The Assistant Director of Governance reassured the Committee that once the team had been adequately resourced, the performance would continue to improve.


    Members congratulated officers on their hard work on reducing the turnaround time for searches.  


    A query was raised on how long external resources were used for.


    It was confirmed that external resources were in place for 3 months.


    The Committee did not require any further monitoring on this matter.




    a)    That the Committee notes the update regarding Local Authority searches.


    b)    That the Committee considers whether any further monitoring or update reports are required.


Work Programme 2021 - 2022 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

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    To consider the Committee’s Work Programme for 2021 – 2022.


    The Committee noted the contents of the Work Programme 2021 2022.


    A suggestion was made on whether the Committee could be provided with interim targets to monitor the budget and performance measures throughout the year.


    The Chairman highlighted that the comments made at a previous meeting, were around the higher-level budget monitoring issues.


Any other business, which the Chairman, by reason of special circumstance decides is urgent

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    There were none.


Close of meeting

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    The Chairman closed the meeting at 11:45.