Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 26th February 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: The Guildhall

Contact: Graham Watts, Democratic Team Leader and Elections Manager  (01522 873439)

Items
No. Item

47.

Confirmation of Minutes - 22 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2019 be confirmed.

48.

Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

49.

Receive Any Questions under Council Procedure Rule 11 from Members of the Public and Provide Answers thereon

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

50.

Receive Any Questions under Council Procedure Rule 12 from Members and Provide Answers thereon

Minutes:

Councillor Thomas Dyer asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

Has the Council offered any discretionary business rate relief to encourage businesses to either come to or invest further in Lincoln?”

 

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the Council, responded by saying that the Council had always supported small businesses which he said were the lifeblood of the economy. A number of schemes for relief from business rates could be put in place for small businesses via statutory or discretionary relief, with several hundred small businesses in the city taking advantage of existing discretionary relief.

 

A further policy relating to discretionary relief for small business was agreed by the Executive in July 2018 which sought to encourage economic growth. It was reported that, to date, no applications for this relief had been received. The Leader queried whether the application process was too complicated or if enough publicity regarding the relief had been undertaken but confirmed that he would raise this with officers outside of the meeting, adding that it was important for businesses to know what was on offer in relation to business rate relief.

51.

Receive Reports under Council Procedure Rule 2 (vi) from Members

51a

Report by Councillor Donald Nannestad - Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Donald Nannestad, Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing, presented his first report under this portfolio having taken over in May 2018. He highlighted that there had been some significant change in the Directorate since then, with the new Director of Housing and Investment commencing their role during October 2018.

 

Councillor Nannestad reported that housing was changing rapidly and that Council housing was no longer housing of last resort, with many private housing tenants in the city now aspiring to be tenants of the City Council. Over the last twelve months the Council had added to its housing stock with the biggest increase in houses for at least 40 years. He highlighted that next year, 2020, saw the centenary of the first Council housing built in Lincoln which provided an opportunity to celebrate council housing and the important part it had played in the lives of many Lincoln people over the years.

 

Updates on the following aspects of the Housing and Investment directorate and the services it provided were set out in the report:

 

·         homelessness;

·         tenancy management;

·         new build and allocations;

·         housing improvement programme;

·         housing repairs;

·         supported housing;

·         private sector housing;

·         health.

 

In relation to the new build programme, Councillor Nannestad highlighted that 46 new Council houses on Westwick Drive had been completed, nearly all of which were let in the first day of availability.

 

He also highlighted that the Executive at its meeting on 25 February 2019 had approved the redevelopment of De Wint Court as an Extra Care facility which was the first of its kind in Lincoln.

 

Councillor Ronald Hills asked whether the proposal to establish a housing company in order to facilitate the construction of houses for let at market rate was still something that the Council was seeking to pursue. Councillor Nannestad said that it was necessary for him to prioritise upon taking over as Portfolio Holder the key projects and schemes within the directorate. Other projects and schemes, which he felt were more urgent, had taken priority. The principle of a housing company was still open for consideration, but it would need to be able to cover itself financially.

 

Councillor Christopher Burke congratulated the Portfolio Holder in relation to the team successfully preventing 159 cases of homelessness and relieving 134 cases since the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act. He also welcomed the addition of new Council houses in the city.

 

Councillor Jim Hanrahan asked whether any consideration had been given to areas of land currently occupied by garages which could be used for housing. Councillor Nannestad confirmed that a number of sites were being looked at for this purpose, however, they tended to be quite small in size with larger sites able to provide better economies of scale.

 

Councillor Jackie Kirk asked for some further explanation in relation to the £441,750 for 2019/20 that had been secured via a bid for funding from the Government relating to homelessness. Councillor Nannestad confirmed that this funding would be used to support an assessment hub together  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51a

51b

Report by Councillor Naomi Tweddle - Chair of the Equality and Diversity Group pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Naomi Tweddle, Chair of the Equality and Diversity Group, presented a report which covered the work of the Group from April 2019 to January 2019.

 

Councillor Tweddle emphasised how important equality and diversity was and that she was keen to keep the momentum going within the Council. She reported that an arrangement had been confirmed for the use of the People’s Partnership in respect of consultation, particularly relating to equality analyses. This ensured that key decisions and new policies fully considered the equality and diversity impacts on residents and individuals. The People’s Partnership was an organisation which provided a voice for people that had different protected characteristics under the Equality Act.

 

In order to avoid the risk of discrimination against any resident when delivering its services, the Council had developed a new corporate equality monitoring form which was available on the authority’s intranet. The form was used in part or in full when services needed to find out about the makeup of the community they were serving.

 

Councillor Tweddle was proud to report that the Council supported Domestic Abuse Awareness Week 2018, which took place between 11 June and 15 June 2018. During the week the Council helped to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the impact this could have on individuals to both staff and residents in the city, from the perspective of men as well as women as victims of abuse. She highlighted that the topic of domestic abuse was also now being incorporated into the Council’s Protecting Vulnerable People meeting.

 

A menopause policy was also being produced by the Council in order to provide clearer guidelines for supporting employees that were going through the menopause. Councillor Tweddle felt that this was an excellent step forward and was something which the Equality and Diversity Group was keen to see be developed.

 

It was RESOLVED that the report be noted.

51c

Report by Councillor Sue Burke - Sustainability Advocate pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Sue Burke, Sustainability Advocate, presented a report as the first in this role which provided an outline of some of the sustainability work the Council currently undertook.

 

Councillor Burke was pleased to report that the City Council had sustainability at the centre of its projects and she looked forward to the authority building on this in the future. The Lincoln Project Management Model provided the Council’s guiding definition of sustainability, which it stated was about getting the right balance or harmony between economic sustainability, social sustainability and environmental sustainability. The report set out some of the initiatives that the Council was involved with regarding sustainability, which included:

 

·         working in partnership to promote Fair Trade in Lincoln, with the City being initially granted Fairtrade City status in 2013 which it continued to hold;

·         working in partnership as a member of the Lincoln Food Partnership which carried out a food hub consultation in July 2018. The food hub was a central facility where food could be collected, stored, processed and distributed to community projects across Lincolnshire as a means to reduce food waste, reduce food poverty and promote a long-term sustainable mode of food citizenship;

·         promotion of individual action on the more traditional and sustainable ‘green’ issues. A key objective was to make homes more energy efficient, which included supporting residents to access Energy Company Obligation funding through energy suppliers;

·         promotion of the Low Carbon Lincoln Partnership which signed up to a target to reduce Lincoln’s carbon dioxide emissions by 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Carbon dioxide emissions had reduced by 41.3% since 2005 despite the level of growth in the city.

 

Councillor Burke reported that the Council had reduced its corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 34% since 2008 and would continue to look for opportunities to reduce its emissions and environmental impact further. She looked forward to the Council continuing to make progress towards a carbon free future through its sustainable polices and approaches both as a Council and in partnership.

 

Councillor Eddie Strengiel asked, in relation to the Council’s new build aspirations, whether more sustainable energy sources such as heat pumps which were becoming popular would be used in the future. Councillor Burke agreed to provide a response to this question outside of the meeting after consulting with officers.

 

Councillor Thomas Dyer said that the Council should be proud of a 41.3% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions since 2005. He asked what more could be done by the Council and other partners to encourage more recycling, especially in order that people knew, for example, what could or could not be recycled and that it was important for this to be publicised. Councillor Dyer also highlighted that there were problem areas in the city where recycling rates were low and asked how this could be improved. Councillor Burke agreed that people did need encouragement but also agreed with the point made that they were confused as to what they could and could not recycle. She did advocate the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51c

52.

To Consider the Following Recommendations of the Executive and Committees of the Council

52a

Council Tax Base 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED

 

(1)       That there are no special items as defined in Section 35 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended) applicable to any part or parts of the City of Lincoln local authority area.

 

(2)       That the Chief Finance Officer’s calculation of the Council Tax base for the financial year commencing 1 April 2019 and ending 31 March 2020, as set out in Appendix B of the report, be approved.

 

(3)       That, in accordance with the Chief Finance Officer’s calculation, and pursuant to the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1992 (as amended), the Council Tax base for the 2019/20 financial year be approved as 24,299.78.

52b

Council House and Garage Rents 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Minutes:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED:

 

(1)       That the basis of rent calculation for charges to individual Council house rents as set out in paragraph 6 of the report, which represents a decrease in the average 52 week council house net rent in 2019/20 of 1% equating to a £0.68 per week loss for social housing rents and £1.08 per week loss for affordable rents per property be approved.

 

(2)       That a 3% increase in garage rents for 2019/20 in accordance with the proposal in paragraph 6.1 of the report be approved.

 

53.

Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED:

 

(1)       That the proposals for Polling Districts and Polling Places for future elections, as detailed in Appendix B to the report, be approved.

 

(2)       That the Chief Executive be authorised to make alternative arrangements should any of the proposed Polling Places become unavailable for any future election.