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To receive apologies for absence.
No apologies for absence were received. Councillor Aaron Spencer was absent.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive declarations by Members of any interests in respect of items on the agenda.
To receive declarations by Officers of any interests in respect of items on the agenda.
Councillor David Brown declared an interest with respect to the agenda item in that when the proposal had first appeared on Facebook he had indicated that he liked it. However, he confirmed he had read all the papers and joined the meeting with an open mind.
Councillor Tom Ashton declared that he was an Elected Member of East Lindsey District Council and had taken advice from the Monitoring Officer in respect of the agenda item. He confirmed that he was appearing in the meeting as a Boston Borough Councillor and as the Ward Member for Old Leake and Wrangle, he would make a decision on the item as a Boston Borough Councillor and confirmed that Boston Borough Council was entirely on his mind.
The three Statutory Officers, the Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer, declared an interest in the agenda item, as it affected their employment, and all confirmed that they had not provided any professional advice to the Council in respect of the matters contained within the report. Having declared their interest in advance, the Officers were not in attendance at the meeting.
(Report by the Joint Strategic Officers)
Councillor Nigel Welton presented a report, which set out the case for the creation of a Strategic Alliance between Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council (ELDC), including the sharing of statutory officers, the Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer, and outlined the substantial benefits that would accrue from an alliance.
The report had been presented at the meeting of Full Council held on 10 June 2020 when some Members had expressed concern regarding the pace at which it was proposed to enter into the Strategic Alliance with ELDC and the need for scrutiny of the implementation of the proposals, at least until Members had gained experience of, and confidence in, the new joint officer leadership team. The Deputy Leader recognised the force of those concerns, and therefore withdrew the report.
Subsequently, consultation with Members from outside the administration indicated that the proposal could be made acceptable by incorporating an amendment to the Memorandum of Agreement, which would provide Boston Borough Council (but not ELDC) with the option of ending the alliance after 12 months and by devising a scrutiny process to run alongside the implementation of the arrangement to inform any such decision.
Those arrangements were set out in two additional recommendations, numbers (9) and (10). ELDC had confirmed it would be content to proceed on the basis of the recommendations in the report. The Council was now invited to agree to enter into the alliance on those amended terms for the reasons that were set out in the report and the original report.
Councillor Welton explained that a third scrutiny committee was proposed in order to provide overarching scrutiny of the alliance process. It would provide robust, transparent in-depth scrutiny that would not be possible with the existing scrutiny committees. All political groups would be represented on the committee and its recommendations would go to the Joint Scrutiny Board and Full Council.
At the previous meeting of the Council there had been extensive discussion on delaying the alliance for 6-7 month and, for this reason, the recommendation had been added to provide the Council with the ability to terminate the alliance by giving three months’ notice without penalty, if Members decided it would not be in the Council’s interest to proceed.
If agreed, the initial task in the process would be the review of senior management with recommendations to the Joint Scrutiny Board and Full Council followed by consideration of the next level of staffing. The Joint Board would consult with the Council’s Management Scrutiny Committee with clear instructions at each stage.
In conclusion, Councillor Welton stated that the proposal was based on a well-proven model and was a significant opportunity for the Council.
It was moved by Councillor Nigel Welton and seconded by Councillor Paul Skinner:-
(1) To agree to enter into a Strategic Alliance for the purposes set out in Section [1.12] of this report, effective from 1st July 2020, for the purposes and under the terms described in this report and ... view the full minutes text for item 3.