Venue: Council Chamber, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, PE21 8QR
Contact: Lorraine Bush, Democratic Services Manager Telephone 01205 314224 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 16th December 2019 attached at page 1 -
The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 16 December 2019, were taken as read and signed by the Mayor as a correct record.
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors George Cornah, Viven Edge and Aaron Spencer.
The Chief Executive reported that Councillor Aaron Spencer had resigned as Leader of the Council. Therefore the questions on notice to be asked of Councillor Spencer as Leader would be directed to Councillor Nigel Welton as Deputy Leader.
DEPUTATIONS AND PETITIONS
The Chief Executive reported there were no deputations or petitions.
QUESTIONS FROM ELECTED MEMBERS
The deadline for questions from Elected Members is Wednesday 15th January 2020.
The Chief Executive reported there were questions from Councillors Anne Dorrian, Richard Austin and Brian Rush.
Question asked by Councillor Anne Dorrian pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution.
“Do you think that the recommendation from the Peer Review - that BBC councillors should take responsibility, wherever possible, to present the council in a good light - has been heard by this body?”
Response by Councillor Nigel Welton
“Thanks for your question Councillor Dorrian. I am as ever an optimist and I completely support the LGAs recommendation and would encourage all councillors to leave negativity at the door and build up the town and council together.
I hope everyone has heard this however it will be down to the morals and intention of the individual councillors whether they choose to help the majority of us who want to secure a better vision for the town or whether they would rather continue to do a disservice to this council, themselves, the officers and Boston in general.”
Supplemental question asked by Councillor Dorrian pursuant to paragraph 11.6 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-
Councillor Dorrian made a statement relating to the circumstances of the resignation of the Leader of the Council which did not contain a direct supplementary question.
Question asked by Councillor Richard Austin pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution.
“What proposals are there for Councillors to view and discuss the details of any submissions by this Council in the ‘Towns Fund’ process?”
Response by the Councillor Nigel Welton
“Thank you for your question. This is a crucial concept and scheme for the town and your continued support and interest is appreciated.
I can confirm the initial meetings have been interesting and I believe the towns fund board is going to deliver great things for the town.
For more details please refer to the Council report of the 16th December which contains this information”.
Supplemental question asked by Councillor Austin pursuant to paragraph 11.6 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution:-
“The PE 21 project was introduced in the early summer and so councillors will be now well familiar with the detail and are generally supportive of the plan.
Presuming this is the main intervention by this Council, I am hoping you can clarify whether you are you now expecting councillors and the public to come forward with additional suggestions to present to the Towns Fund Board and whether this is the right moment to do so.
Is this an opportunity to use some of the Councils own government loan money on a good and safe investment to help create a welcoming and thriving town centre that will help the Borough towards increasing prosperity?”
Response by Councillor Welton
“The Town Board is comprised of representatives of many different organisations, everyone involved would be encouraged to bring forward ideas and ... view the full minutes text for item 53.
QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
The deadline for questions from members of the public is Wednesday 15th January 2020.
The Chief Executive reported there was a question from Mr. Darron Abbott.
Question asked by Mr. Darron Abbott pursuant to paragraph 10 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution.
“Recently Boston Wood Trust have announced that they are to be charged by Boston Borough Council a figure I believe to be £2,300 per year. The original figure suggested for the service being £12,000.
The Boston Wood Trust have put out an appeal to 100 people to donate £20 per year to cover the costs, if those 100 people do not rise to the request surely this will impact on the number of trees that they can plant each year.
The only item on the Agenda this evening relates to climate change, one of the suggestions is to plant more trees, how does the proposal to levy this charge encourage the planting of more trees.”
Response by Councillor Yvonne Stevens
“The Council is under no statutory obligation to collect waste from Boston Woods Trust. Given the financial pressures facing the Council we can no longer afford to service the voluntary arrangement, free of charge.”
Supplemental question asked by Mr. Darron Abbot pursuant to paragraph 10.8 of the Rules of Procedure as set out in the Constitution.
“I thank Councillor Stevens for her reply. Could I politely ask Councillor Stevens to go back over her paperwork and check the wording on her proposal for charging this organisation as it is only recently that it was proposed by herself to charge for replacing domestic wheelie bins because the Council could not afford to fund the replacements. After a great deal of time and resources was spent on that discussion and it turned out to be a waste of time because the proposal had not been read properly.
If the Council does impose the charge and, in the fear of repeating Councillor Richard Austin, please would Councillors consider becoming members of the Boston Woods Trust and give just £20 of their allowance to ensure they can continue to plant the trees that this evening’s report suggests should be done. One Councillor has already agreed to do this even though she has only just found out. I have membership forms should anyone want one.”
Response by Councillor Stevens
“I will provide a written response.”
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No declarations of interest were made.
(A report by the Environment & Performance Committee)
Portfolio Holder: Councillor Paul Skinner
Councillor Judith Skinner introduced a report on behalf of the Environment and Performance Committee presenting the conclusions of the Climate Change Working Group built upon the update report considered by Council on 16 December 2019.
The report stated that at the meeting of Full Council on 15 July 2019, two Motions on Notice had been submitted relating to climate change. As a result Members voted on a procedural motion to seek the Environment and Performance Committee’s consideration and detailed reporting for referral back to Full Council.
The Environment and Performance Committee (E&P) met on 30 July 2019 and agreed to establish a Working Group to progress activity. The Working Group met informally to consider all aspects and issues referred to in the Motions on Notice and reported findings and recommendations to the Environment and Performance Committee.
The Group had provided a verbal update to E&P Committee on 24 September and a further formal update to its meeting on 5th November. An interim report was presented to Council on 16 December and provided a summary update of the work to date. Final draft recommendations were reported to the E&P Committee on 7 January 2020 which were referred to full Council for adoption.
The Working Group was comprised of five elected members including the Portfolio Holder, eight members of staff and one co-opted member of the public, and was Chaired by Councillor Anne Dorrian.
The work of the Group included:-
· Reviewed previous and ongoing BBC carbon reduction activity and the Carbon Management Plan.
· Collated all BBC environmental and climate change activity (Air Quality, Homes Energy Conservation Act, Private Sector Enforcement, etc.)
· Taken on the Local Government Association good practice advice for Councillors.
· Reviewed other council approaches and best practice publications.
· Collated a list of external invitees with expertise and insight.
· Agreed an intent to be clear about the differences required for BBC to become carbon net neutral and “leading/championing” others within the Borough geography.
· Begun to explore carbon offsetting potential/opportunities.
· Begun collating a list of “quick-wins” to include in the final action plan recommendations to E&P.
· Attended the ‘’Ashden’’ Local Authority Climate Change Toolkit launch in October.
· Attended the Western Power event - Transition to a Zero Carbon Economy.
· Considered relevant proposals contained in the Environment Bill published 15 October.
The Working Group focused activity to finalise a series of recommendations for Council to consider:
· A climate change declaration which was aspirational and deliverable in the soonest possible time range.
· All Council policies and practices to consider environmental impacts.
· Lobby for additional resources and support to deliver the carbon neutral agenda.
· A commitment to show geographical and community leadership.
· Recognise and acknowledge the excellent achievements of the Council since 2008.
· Council buildings and asset audits and action plans.
· Recommendations for the Council’s procurement practices.
· Potential for climate champion(s), Citizens Assembly and Climate Expo.
It was noted that Councils were well placed to drive and influence action on climate change through the ... view the full minutes text for item 56.