Venue: Online Meeting: Members of the public can register to view the meeting at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3496770641153130511
Contact: Janette Collier, Senior Democratic Services Officer 01205 314227 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were tabled by Councillor Martin Howard
To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting, held on 22nd January 2020.
With the agreement of the committee members’ the Chairman signed the minutes of the previous meeting.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.
Councillor Anne Dorrian declared an interest in respect of item 4 on the agenda. Councillor Dorrian confirmed her employer was Haven High Academy who were subject to receipt of funding under item 4 for a 3G sports pitch and as such, Councillor Dorrian confirmed that whilst she would speak on the item, she would abstain from any determination and leave the meeting once she had spoken.
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 Friday 31st July 2020.
PUBLIC SPEAKING SLOT
At Chairman’s discretion, to read out written represenations from members of the public on their behalf.
(A report by Maddy Eyre, Local Communities Development Officer and BTAC Grant Administrator)
The Local Communities Officer presented the reportconfirming she would present an update on the small grants applications from round 3 of the financial year, currently on hold due to Covid-19. Members where further advised that with the agreement of the Chairman, committee would be asked to consider an additional proposal not on the agenda, in respect moving forward with the small grant scheme into the next financial year.
Six applications had been received in Round 3 of the Boston Town Area Committee Small Grant Scheme all of which had been eligible for consideration. However, in light of the covid-19 outbreak and lockdown, the original committee meeting where the six applications were scheduled to be endorsed, had been cancelled, putting the applications on hold. When a new meeting date was considered, all 6 applicants had been contacted to establish whether, should they be awarded funding, their projects would be able to go ahead. They were given 3 options:
Option 1: Allow their application to be submitted for decision at the August Meeting – if approved funds to be transferred to their respective accounts for their project to be delivered straight away OR at a later stage when they feel able to do so.
Option 2: Keep their application on hold until later in the year, when they have a better idea of how they intend to move forward with their project into next year.
Option 3: Withdraw their application from the scheme and resubmit another time when they feel able to do so.
The two applicants who had chosen option 2, had both been assured that the funding allocated for Round 3 19/20 would remain available when they were able to re-submit their applications. £2,448.33 to be ring-fenced for the two applications.
The four applicants who chose option 1 for consideration at this meeting were then noted along with the suggested award agreed by the working group at its’ meeting on the 27th February 2020.
To purchase branded promotional material to aid awareness. The sum requested £706.67. The award suggested by the working group £796.67.
Lincolnshire Community & Voluntary Service – English Language Co-ordination Project
To contribute towards the cost of continuing to provide a single point of access website to enable people to find appropriate English language courses – formal and informal from a number of Boston providers. The sum requested £1000.00. The award suggested £1000.00 with part of the monitoring to provide evidence of impact to support them looking for funding from other sources.
Boston Hakusan City 20/21 Exchange Programme
To contribute towards costs of providing the visiting Japanese students and their chaperones with souvenirs, trips and activities while they are here and contribute towards their Farewell Ceremony. The sum requested £1000.00. The award suggested £1000.00.
Wyberton Football Club
To contribute towards the purchase of a mower to enable them to keep maintenance of their grounds in-house. The sum requested £1000.00. The award suggested by the working group £500.00 being proportionate to the number of BTAC ... view the full minutes text for item 62.
(A report by Kristina Willoughby, Town Centre Services Manager)
The Town Centre Services Manager presented their report advising that their team were actively planning events from September 2020, and working alongside partners to see what was deliverable to ensure that the events would be Covid-19 compliant. Recognising that a number of Christmas events across the country had already been cancelled, the Town Centre Services Manager advised that at the current time, it was not felt necessary to do so in Boston and reassured members that all contracts would be subject to rolling over to 2021 should an event be cancelled.
Moving to the recommendations within the report committee were advised as follows:
Following cancellation of all events due to Covid-19 it was hoped to increase the appeal of the Christmas event by extending it a four-day event in Bargate green car-park, starting on the day of the Christmas lights switch on event. The event would be run in alpine wooden huts and officers had already had a lot of interest in such an event following some soft market testing. A small fairground ride would be included and food & drink plus an area for live music would also be available. To facilitate the extended event it was proposed that budgeted funding unspent to date, be reallocated towards such an event by increasing the budget from £14,500 to £22,000. All bookings for the event would have appropriate terms and conditions to cover a second covid 19 outbreak and should such event not happen due to government advice, bookings would be able to transfer a 2021 event. £2,000 of the reallocated budget would be used to retest the County Council lighting columns for the next two seasons, in preparation for hanging the Christmas lights in partnership with the Christmas In Boston Group and their efforts of lighting the Town.
It was proposed that £13,500 of budgeted funding unspent to date, be reallocated for an Illuminate Fire Garden for the 2020 Christmas event. In 2019, Transported in partnership with Boston Borough Council had delivered a hugely successful Fire Garden located on Bargate Green car park as part of the Christmas Market and Lights Switch on event. There was an opportunity to deliver this again on a larger scale in Central Park and the Council are working with Transported and the wider Pilgrim Roots group to develop a campaign of #onesmallcandle.
The #onesmallcandle event see every household being encouraged to place a (non-flammable) candle in their window as a sign of hope and celebration of Illuminate 2020, alongside 1620 lanterns displayed in locations across the Town, to replace the parade for this year.
It was accepted that the overall event could not be as the previous years due to covid-19 so certain aspects had to change. Committee were asked to further agree £5,500 for the Letters to Santa projection event, which allowed children to post their letters to Santa. Members were referred to appendix F within the report which detailed the event which had been brought ... view the full minutes text for item 63.
(An item presented by the Chairman, Councillor Paul Goodale)
The Chairman referenced previous discussions held on the subject and advised he was seeking committee’s agreement or not to move forward and task officers to produce a report to be tabled at a future meeting for full discussion.
Committee commenting followed which included the following which has been collated to address repetitive commenting:
There was overall support and agreement for the subject matter from members who had supported a Town Council for many years, along with members who deemed it unnecessary and simply another layer of bureaucracy at the previous meeting.
Events since that meeting, both locally with the ELDC merger, and nationally with the move to Devolution or Unitary Councils, had strengthened all members resolve with an urgency to proceed.
A number of concerns raised included how the existing assets of Boston, including its silverware; porcelain and historic artefacts / scrolls and its charters would be preserved for the residents of the town, once Devolution had been implemented. Further concern noted that the £20mil in reserves held by the Council, which rightfully belonged to the people of Boston. There was agreement that the reserves should not be dissipated to other areas of the County.
Members agreed the ongoing serious issues within the town of Boston warranted a structure akin to that of the Parish Council to give it its own identity and to prioritise and safeguard the inhabitants. The town was broken and the only chance of re building it back up to the proud town it once was, would be by convening a Town Council with town councillors taking over responsibility for all the BTAC ward residents.
Caution was urged that the report needed to be detailed and complete addressing issues in respect of financial matters; officers required to support the Town Council and the location for its offices, along with compliance with restrictions of local government
The Chairman concluded thanking members for their support and noted that whilst there was both devolution or unitary to consider, moving forward with the Town Council needed clear political will from members, which had been demonstrated by all members of the committee.
RESOLVED: that BTAC agree to task officers with the work of exploring all the issues and implications involved in setting up a town council and that a complete report be tabled back to committee for consideration.
(A report by Michelle Sacks, Deputy Chief Executive & Monitoring Officer)
Report to Follow
The Deputy Chief Executive (Places) presented the update report on the Towns Fund and the allocated accelerated grant funding of £750,000. It would be delivered through the mechanism of the Towns Fund to support the delivery of capital projects in the financial year 2020/21 that meet the Towns Fund Intervention Framework and would have the greatest immediate impact to aid economic recovery.
The Town Board had been advised of the Accelerated Funding opportunity and how it could link to the emerging themes of the Boston Town Deal, with a number of potential project interventions having met the criteria set out by the MHCLG and tabled for committee deliberation.
Prior to addressing each project the Deputy Chief Executive (Places) referred committee to the appended FAQs within the report and advised a recurring question had been asked seeking confirmation if the funds were spent on projects did the cost come directly off the £25mil. They did not the funds came directly off the £750,000.
One advantage was the spend by 31st March 2020 which resulted in a number of good ideas came forward initially, one of which was a redundancy support hub for a collection of organisations, to support residents as the impacts of Covid-19 increased. Whilst it had been considered, it was revenue based and therefore had not been put forward.
Another idea further up the coast had been a single project with full investment of the £75,.000 although it was a long-term venture. It had already been agreed it was important that the community could see the benefits of any investment to them, and that the best approach was to use capital funding to plug existing projects to allow them to come forward and complete, along with funding bespoke projects relevant to a town centre to raise the profile of the town.
Addressing the submissions for consideration committee were advised as follows:
Haven High Academy - 3G Pitch Development Project.
Funding requested: £120,000
The cost for a full size flood 3G pitch was in the region of £750,000 (including professional fees and contingency). The school would be using part of their capital reserves towards the project, but would also be seeking other funding to contribute to the partnership funding required. The school hoped to apply to the Football Foundation for a large contribution towards the cost of the pitch, but need to explore all other funding opportunities.
The reason for seeking support for the project was it would benefit not only students but residents across the borough as well. With a lack of 3G pitches within the borough, compared to other districts the facility would increase the offer of sports based events for all ages within the community, increasing and promoting health and lifestyle. It would support good partnership working through the town board academy key. 2 letters had been received in support of the project: one from the Lincolnshire Football Association and one from the Football Foundation.
Boston College Digital, Transport and Logistics Academy –
Funding requested: £182,976 ... view the full minutes text for item 65.
(For Members to discuss potential items for the Committee’s work programme for the current year.)
The Lead Officer presented the report and confirmed the 7th October update report on central parks projects. There had been a proposal from Councillor Rush following the recent illegal encampment on Woodville Road requesting a report to committee for securing the open space area. Officers would gain options and report back to committee.
Members agreed the requirement for a report in respect of securing the open space on Woodville Road to include the costs of the clear-up operation following the recent illegal encampment on the site. A further suggestion for the report to cover all BTAC open space areas was agreed.
The report for the Town Council would be scheduled onto the agenda, once advice had been taken in respect of the report and a time scale for production.
Two additional concerns were raised. A member voiced strong concerns at the number of dogs at risk of being kidnapped within the area, making residents frightened to take their dogs for a walk. The member stated there had been several approaches on Spilsby Road and the problem was escalating. The Charman suggested addressing through the Police forum. The second concern was in respect of speeding along Freiston Road and again, it was agreed it was a matter for the police forum.