Venue: Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, PE21 8QR
Contact: Karen Rist, Democratic Services Officer Telephone Number 01205 314226. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign and confirm the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 18th June 2019.
The minutes of the Committee’s last meeting, held on 18th June 2019, were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To receive apologies for absence.
There were apologies for absence from Councillor Paul Goodale.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.
No declarations of interests were made.
To answer any written questions received from members of the public no later than 5 p.m. two clear working days prior to the meeting – for this meeting the deadline is 5 p.m. on Thursday 25th July 2019.
No public questions had been submitted.
(A report by Phil Drury, Chief Executive)
Portfolio Holder: Councillor Paul Skinner
The Committee considered a report by the Chief Executive, the purpose of which was to progress a Council resolution to consider environmental and other implications associated with climate change and report back with an action plan within the requested timeframe.
The Council agenda at the 15 July meeting included two “climate” motions and these motions were attached as Appendix 1 for information. As a result, Members voted on a procedural motion to seek the Committee’s consideration and detailed reporting for referral back to Full Council.
It was suggested that the Committee convened a Working Group to progress this activity, to be drawn from all non-executive Members of the Council. The Leader of the Council had asked that Councillor Anne Dorrian be invited to chair the group as the seconder of the procedural motion at Council.
It was further suggested that the Working Group should:
· Establish its own agenda, timetable and meeting frequency.
· Provide a brief update to the Committee at its meetings on 24 September and 5 November 2019 with final recommendations being submitted to its meeting on 7 January 2020, to achieve the requirements resolved by the motion to present a final report to Full Council on 20 January 2020.
· Determine who to call to provide information, support and assistance to complete the task.
The Chief Executive confirmed that the group’s membership was expected to consist of non-executive Members, though the group itself might decide it would benefit from gaining the views of Portfolio Holders. The group would set its own timetable, but copies of a list of dates on which there were no Council meetings were circulated for assistance.
(For Members to note/discuss the Committee’s current work programme)
It was noted that the reports from the Climate Change Working Group would be added to the agendas for the Committee’s next three meetings and that the Planning Process Inquiry Session would take place on 7th August.
A Member requested that the charges for replacement wheelie bins be put on the agenda for the Committee’s meeting on 24th September.
The Head of Environmental Operations explained that whilst these charges were not new, their implementation had been inconsistently applied. Replacement bin charges had been part of financial reports since 2013 and had been scrutinised by Scrutiny Members and Full Council as part of the annual budget setting process. Operational Waste and Recycling Procedures had been subject to a specific Inquiry Session to which all Members had been invited, which was attended by 11 Members. Replacement bin charges and the procedure for their implementation together with a whole raft of operational arrangements had been discussed at the inquiry session. No significant disagreement to the replacement bin charges had been voiced; therefore, officers had consistently applied the charges with effect from 1st April 2019, in accordance with Council policy.
Since that time, only 1 out of 52 formal complaints received since 1st April 2019 had been in relation to these charges and it had not been upheld. The Head of Environmental Operations queried whether putting it on the agenda would be an appropriate use of the Committee’s time. The charges were purely to cover costs, i.e. the cost of the bin and a small charge for delivery. This was budgeted to provide between £10-11,000 in income; should the charge be changed or withdrawn that amount would have to be identified from another source.
The Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services added that the information was available on the Council’s website and suggested that it would not be a good use of the Committee’s time to consider the matter again.
Some Members explained that they had received queries from members of the public who had not known about the charges and they themselves had not been aware of the charges either. It was queried whether the outcome of the Inquiry Session had been made public and suggested it would be best to consider the matter during the budget setting process. However, others felt it should be discussed at the next meeting, as they were receiving queries from members of the public now. It was asserted that the charges had been for brown bins, not green, and that this charge had been introduced suddenly and without consultation or advising Members. This assertion was refuted by the Head of Environmental Operations who repeated that the replacement bin charges had been consulted upon as part of the budget setting process for the last six years, since 2013.
The Head of Environmental Operations recognised it was the Committee’s role to challenge decisions, but agreed that the best time to reconsider this matter would be during the budget setting process because the charges had been approved ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
(A report by Andrew Haw, CCTV Manager)
Portfolio Holder: Councillor Paul Skinner
The Committee considered the CCTV Annual Update and CCTV Policy Update.
CCTV Annual Update
The Council’s public realm CCTV system consisted of digital high-definition CCTV cameras, CCTV control room equipment that covered Boston town centre, Kirton, as well as other areas including Boston College, Pilgrim Hospital, Redstone Industrial Estate and Pescod Square.
The CCTV report, attached at Appendix A, provided a range of performance data from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. The Council also monitored cameras on behalf of North Kesteven, South Holland and East Lindsey District Councils, but detailed incident data for these areas was not included in the report.
During the above time period there had been:
· Recorded 17,292 daily log entries.
· Completed 3185 incident records.
· Boston Borough Council received 505 Out of Hours service calls. CCTV operators received 1540 calls for East Lindsey District Council and Boston Borough Council combined.
· CCTV Operators directly contributed to 260 arrests for the Boston Borough Council area, and 466 arrests for the total CCTV area.
· CCTV Operators produced 208 pieces of evidence from the Boston Borough Council area for Lincolnshire Police / Court use. Operators produced 428 pieces of evidence in total.
The report included a breakdown of incident categories of crime and anti-social behaviour, with crime data for context.
CCTV Policy Update
Version 1.0 of the Council’s CCTV Policy became effective in December 2015. In accordance with its own requirements, it had been reviewed by the Head of Regulatory Services with members of the Management Group and required Cabinet approval. Although only very minor changes were being recommended, it was appropriate for the Policy to be fully scrutinised and was therefore presented to the Committee at Appendix B.
The Policy covered the scope and operation of the “public realm” CCTV systems the Council owned or managed under various agreements with neighbouring authorities and other organisations. It also covered the scope and operation of the CCTV systems in operation within a number of the Council’s operational buildings and the system installed on its fleet. The Committee was invited to scrutinise the document and make any recommendations considered appropriate, referring them with the draft to Cabinet for approval.
Members commended the service. In response to questions, they were informed that the service monitored 197 cameras, 68 of which were in Boston. There was always a percentage that were not working, because of the number of cameras and the complexity of the system. The maintenance contractor made weekly checks and any problems were usually rectified within two weeks.
Some of the out-of-hours calls made to the CCTV operatives were not emergencies, but they were still logged. They were not increasing staffing numbers, but were adjusting staffing in order to cope with calls, which were higher towards the end of the day and at weekends. This was a partnership arrangement, a shared service.
The Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services added that, in terms of maintenance, the service had been able to move to an open architecture system with high-performance cameras obtained for ... view the full minutes text for item 12.
(A report by Ian Dunn, Anti-Social Behaviour Officer)
Portfolio Holder: Councillor Paul Skinner
The Anti-Social Behaviour Officer presented a report containing statistics relating to crime and disorder relating to anti-social behaviour and the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for the period 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019.
The Council’s Community Safety Team used National Legislation and County-Wide Policies and Procedures when dealing with anti-social behaviour (ASB). The team worked alongside numerous partner agencies, particularly the Neighbourhood Policing Team based at Boston Police Station.
The Council’s two ASB Officers widely utilised the powers contained within the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014, guided by the Safer Lincolnshire Partnership Strategy’s ‘Intervention and Incremental Approach Policy and Procedure 2015’ when dealing with ASB and other non-criminal offences. The approach normally had 4 stages. Statistics throughout the report had been provided against each stage for ASB enforcement and PSPO enforcement. ASB enforcement statistics were set out in Appendix 1 in comparison with those for the previous year and were summarised in the report.
The PSPO for alcohol incremental approach also had four stages. PSPO enforcement statistics for the year in comparison with the previous year were set out in Appendix 2 and were summarised in the report. Of particular note in respect of PSPO enforcement was that only 20 PSPO Warning Letters were served as a consequence of the 141 Advice Letters. Whilst Warning Letters could be served post March 2019 for repeat offences, the significant majority of those subject to warnings heeded them accordingly.
The Community Safety Team had spoken with the outgoing and recent incoming Neighbourhood Police Team Inspectors regarding the lack of referrals in quarter 4, as set out in Appendix 3.
Whilst the statistics set out within Appendices 1 and 2 provided Members with volume metrics, what they did not demonstrate was the breadth of issues and the variable time that cases could take to bring to satisfactory conclusions.
Members were invited to review, comment, and challenge the information presented within the report and its appendices and make any recommendations to Cabinet it considered appropriate.
Members were also invited to accept an offer from Inspector 123 Fran Harrod to shadow the Police on patrol to see what Policing in the town centre looked like.
In response to Members’ questions, it was explained that the Police took details of a person stopped when drinking in the PSPO area and the incidents were logged. The incident logs did include calls to the 101 service if Police were needed to attend an incident. Only 17 calls had been made to the 101 service in relation to street drinking; therefore, the figures had gone down because of the number reported and the Police had not seen as many incidents.
A Member queried the accuracy of the logged 101 calls, asserting that calls did not always result in incidents being classed as such by the service and so were not recorded.
The Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services advised Members that the PSPO was not an alcohol ban and urged the Committee to consider establishing ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
(A report by Michelle Sacks, Deputy Chief Executive)
Portfolio Holder: Councillor Yvonne Stevens
The Deputy Chief Executive introduced a report on the proposed Boston Alternative Energy Facility (BAEF) to be located at the Riverside Industrial Estate, adjacent to the tidal River Witham (known as the Haven) and down river from the Port of Boston.
The Council was a consultee in the planning process to determine if the BAEF was approved. As a National Significant Infrastructure Project, the application would be determined by the Secretary of State following a planning Inquiry led by a Planning Inspector.
The proposal was a state of the art power-generation plant which developers presented as leading the way in land-based renewable power across the UK. The project would generate 102MW of renewable energy, of which 80MW would be exported to the National Grid and the residue would be used by the facility. Electricity would be generated in a secure, clean and affordable way.
The project created the potential for significant economic development opportunities linked to the supply chain to support the plant and potential end users of the by-products. In addition, the proposals created opportunities for the Borough Council to work with the County Council through the Strategic Waste Partnership to consider alternative ways to manage waste.
The project was at a stage where the Environmental Statement (ES) had been prepared which provided a summary of the project, the site selection process and key preliminary findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The report set out details of the operation of the proposed BAEF under the following headings:
There were several strands within the Borough Council that had professional comments to be submitted as part of the consultation process which were set out in Appendix 1, together with supplementary questions that had arisen through the process. The list of questions was not exhaustive and it was likely that more would emerge over the remaining period of time left within the consultation period.
The previous consultation exercise had generated positive feedback from the agents acting on behalf of the applicant, many of the points raised were acknowledged and incorporated, such as the Visitor Centre that was suggested to mirror that which the Environment Agency had provided for the barrier project.
The Phase 3 consultation exercise enabled the Council as a consultee to make further comment and seek clarity on outstanding issues to continue to influence any final proposal in a positive way for the benefit of the residents of the Borough as a whole. The proposed consultation response on behalf of the Council was set out in Appendix 1 of the report.
The Deputy Chief Executive referred to the rapid pace of the consultation and highlighted the request within the draft response for an extension of time to the deadline of 6th August due to the size and scale of the proposed development to ensure time was allowed to ... view the full minutes text for item 14.