Agenda and minutes

Council - Tuesday, 15 December 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual meeting. View directions

Contact: Rebecca Owen, Democratic Services Manager on 01455255879 or email  rebecca.owen@hinckley-bosworth.gov.uk 

Link: watch the meeting on YouTube

Media

Items
No. Item

581.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Boothby, Cope, Roberts and Smith.

582.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 27 October.

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor Webber-Jones and

 

RESOLVED – the minutes of the meeting held on 27 October be approved as a correct record.

583.

Declarations of interest

To receive verbally from Members any disclosures which they are required to make in accordance with the Council's code of conduct or in pursuance of Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This is in addition to the need for such disclosure to be also given when the relevant matter is reached on the Agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor R Allen declared a pecuniary interest in item 15(c) as an employee of the Member of Parliament.

 

Councillor Pendlebury declared a personal interest which might lead to bias in item 15(a) as a practicing nurse employed by the NHS.

584.

Mayor's Communications

To receive such communications as the Mayor may decide to lay before the Council.

Minutes:

The Mayor reminded members that the video of the virtual Christmas lights switch-on event was available online. She also reported that she would be hosting the Christmas Car Lights Trail the following evening and that it would take on a different form this year. The Mayor invited members to attend her Chaplain’s virtual service on Christmas Eve.

 

The Mayor concluded her speech by thanking officers of the council for their hard work over the year and in particular linked to the covid pandemic.

585.

Questions

Questions received under council procedure rule 14:

 

(a)        Question from Councillor R Allen to the Executive member for Finance:

 

            “We note the news that UBS Asset Management have completed a £4.5m acquisition of the Sainsbury’s supermarket in the Crescent and, as ever, welcome investment in our borough.

 

            Will the Executive member please confirm the return on this council’s investment in the Crescent scheme?

 

            Will the Executive member further confirm that all loans in relation to the Crescent project have been repaid and cumulative interest received by this council on those loans, versus the interest paid by the council on all and any loans taken out to fund any aspect of the Crescent project?”

 

            Response from Councillor Lynch:

 

Return on Investment

 

The primary reason for the Council investing in Block C was to ensure that the whole Bus Station development was secured. Without this other investors at the time, such as Sainsbury’s were considering pulling out. Also the lead Developer would have found it unviable if we were not to have invested and there was either a risk of partial or even no regeneration meaning the desired economic and regeneration aspect would have been lost.

 

Net income from Block in 2019/20 before financing costs was £194k, after financing costs of £190.7k, the regeneration investment makes a small surplus of £3.3k.  This is after allowing for any untenanted costs that the Council has to fund but excludes business rates that are collected from the development. Once the empty units are let, the return will increase substantially. The Hoped for rental of the two remaining units will be between £100k to £140k depending on future negotiations. Obviously the pandemic has had an impact on filling the units during the current year, which hopefully will change in the near future.

 

The direct return is not the only way in which the Council has benefited from the Crescent development.  Whole site has rates of £0.6m, with HBBC being better off by its share being £0.24m. This add to the overall return.  Block C’s element alone for business rates is £194.4k, the  40% HBBC element  being £77.8k

 

Loans

 

Between 2012/13 and 2015/16 a total of £10.849m was financed, but only £5m was actual PWLB borrowing. The £10.849m financing was also in relation to the Leisure Centre (£4,931m) and Crescent Development (£4.060m).  If an assumption is made that £5m loan was taken to underpin £10.849m of capital financing, the Crescent element of financing £190.7k, which is MRP of £135.3k and interest of £55.4k   However, the split of the loan is notional for internal purposes.

 

The £5m loan, that has a notional allocation to Block C, will not be fully repaid for a further 42 years, as HBBC will be servicing HRA loans of almost £3m a year until 2037, therefore fits into a portfolio of debt financing to suit treasury management requirements  .

 

There was a few short term loans amounting £7m to help with cash flows to the developer, but this has all been repaid  ...  view the full agenda text for item 585.

Minutes:

(a)        Question from Councillor R Allen to the Executive member for Finance:

 

            “We note the news that UBS Asset Management have completed a £4.5m acquisition of the Sainsbury’s supermarket in the Crescent and, as ever, welcome investment in our borough.

 

            Will the Executive member please confirm the return on this council’s investment in the Crescent scheme?

 

            Will the Executive member further confirm that all loans in relation to the Crescent project have been repaid and cumulative interest received by this council on those loans, versus the interest paid by the council on all and any loans taken out to fund any aspect of the Crescent project?”

 

            Response from Councillor Lynch:

 

Return on Investment

 

The primary reason for the Council investing in Block C was to ensure that the whole Bus Station development was secured. Without this other investors at the time, such as Sainsbury’s were considering pulling out. Also the lead Developer would have found it unviable if we were not to have invested and there was either a risk of partial or even no regeneration meaning the desired economic and regeneration aspect would have been lost.

 

Net income from Block in 2019/20 before financing costs was £194k, after financing costs of £190.7k, the regeneration investment makes a small surplus of £3.3k.  This is after allowing for any untenanted costs that the Council has to fund but excludes business rates that are collected from the development. Once the empty units are let, the return will increase substantially. The Hoped for rental of the two remaining units will be between £100k to £140k depending on future negotiations. Obviously the pandemic has had an impact on filling the units during the current year, which hopefully will change in the near future.

 

The direct return is not the only way in which the Council has benefited from the Crescent development.  Whole site has rates of £0.6m, with HBBC being better off by its share being £0.24m. This add to the overall return.  Block C’s element alone for business rates is £194.4k, the  40% HBBC element  being £77.8k

 

Loans

 

Between 2012/13 and 2015/16 a total of £10.849m was financed, but only £5m was actual PWLB borrowing. The £10.849m financing was also in relation to the Leisure Centre (£4,931m) and Crescent Development (£4.060m).  If an assumption is made that £5m loan was taken to underpin £10.849m of capital financing, the Crescent element of financing £190.7k, which is MRP of £135.3k and interest of £55.4k   However, the split of the loan is notional for internal purposes.

 

The £5m loan, that has a notional allocation to Block C, will not be fully repaid for a further 42 years, as HBBC will be servicing HRA loans of almost £3m a year until 2037, therefore fits into a portfolio of debt financing to suit treasury management requirements  .

 

There was a few short term loans amounting £7m to help with cash flows to the developer, but this has all been repaid and none was for over a year.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 585.

586.

Leader of the Council's Position Statement

Madame Mayor, may I start by wishing all Members and Officers in our ‘virtual chamber’ a very happy and peaceful Christmas. It has been a very tough year for many with the challenges we have faced by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

I hope the spirit of the meeting and debate we have reflects the Christmas festive period.

 

Tonight on the agenda we have a report on our Licensing Policy which has been updated to reflect COVID requirements, and these have been endorsed by Licencing Committee. I am pleased to see the report on the Rural Strategy reflecting the extensive engagement we have had over the last year with our parishes. This demonstrates our continued commitment to support our rural as well as urban communities.

 

There are also reports on changes to Constitution, which primarily incorporates improvements for member and the public’s engagement at Planning Committee; and on changes to the Petition Scheme. I would like to thank the Cross-Party Member Working Group that has considered and proposed these changes. We also have some appointments to make on some local charitable bodies and four motions on some topical issues to consider.

 

There are a few other key matters that I want to highlight which are as follows:

 

Tiering Arrangements

 

As colleagues will know, when the country came out of the second national lockdown we were put into Tier 3 with the rest of Leicestershire and the City. This is the most restrictive tier. This is devastating for so many local businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector. I do not think this area deserved to be put into Tier 3, particularly as we have the lowest COVID infection rate of all Leicestershire authorities and well below the national average.

 

It was on the basis of this situation I instructed our Chief Executive to follow up on the legal challenge that Stratford-upon-Avon District Council have been pursuing against the Government. We will be told on the 17th December what our position and tier arrangement will be. Any change will come in from midnight on Saturday 19th December.

 

Shop Local

 

I am delighted we have launched our ‘Love Local, Shop Local’ business directories to help people source food, drink and other services online, while supporting ventures who are adapting to new ways of running their businesses.

 

One directory is for restaurants, cafes, pubs, coffee shops and takeaways, while the other is for all other retailers. Given this is a difficult time for many local independent businesses, we know many have adapted quickly to provide online sales, click and collect services, local delivery and more. We want to make it easier for customers to find local businesses and help everyone to shop local for food and gifts.

 

The new directories are an excellent source of information to help residents find these innovative local suppliers. As we continue during the pandemic and recovery phase, shopping for food and gifts in the borough will help support the local economy – so please love local and  ...  view the full agenda text for item 586.

Minutes:

In his position statement, the leader wished members, officers and residents a happy Christmas and expressed his pride in the work of staff. He congratulated Dr Evans, MP, for his recent Patchwork Foundation award, expressed his disappointment that the borough had been placed in tier 3, encouraged members to shop locally and highlighted the installation of electric vehicle charging points in two town centre car parks. He also referred to Britishvolt setting up its new global headquarters at MIRA Technology Park, progress on enforcement linked to the Klondyke and the national financial settlement.

 

In response to a question about the electric vehicle charging points, Councillor Bray agreed to arrange for a briefing note to be sent out to members.

587.

Minutes of the Scrutiny Commission pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To receive for information only the minutes of the Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 26 November.

Minutes:

Councillor Lay presented the minutes of the last Scrutiny Commission meeting, commending the presentation of the work of the VCS in partnership with the council and thanking the Chief Executive for the impromptu covid briefing.

588.

Statement of Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 389 KB

To consider the Statement of Licensing Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Statement of Licensing Policy as required by the Licensing Act 2003. It was moved by Councillor Cartwright, seconded by Councillor Sheppard-Bools and

 

RESOLVED – the Licensing Policy be adopted.

589.

Refresh of Rural Strategy pdf icon PDF 370 KB

To receive the refreshed Rural Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The refreshed Rural Strategy was presented to Council. It was noted that some of the items on the parish councils’ “wish lists” were not within this authority’s control or financially viable. In relation to an action plan, it was noted that this was being developed and work was still ongoing with parishes.

 

Concern was expressed about local policing and it was confirmed that the new LPU Commander was happy to attend member meetings. Members were reminded that the next Community Safety Partnership Joint Scrutiny meeting was scheduled for March.

 

On the motion of Councillor Cartwright, seconded by Councillor Webber-Jones, it was

 

RESOLVED – the refreshed Rural Strategy and appendices be endorsed.

590.

Review of Council's Constitution pdf icon PDF 387 KB

In light of recent submissions and queries regarding motions, in moving the recommendations within the report Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor Crooks, will move the following further changes to the constitution:

 

Part 2f paragraph 26.1

Remove the authority of officers to reject amendments unless they are defamatory, frivolous or offensive.

 

Part 3b paragraph 19.6

In the first sentence insert after “… must be relevant to the motion”:

“and meet the criteria for the scope of motions on notice as listed in paragraph 17.2”.

 

Then at the end of that same paragraph of 19.6 add:

“It is for Council to decide in debating the amendment whether the amendment meets the aforementioned criteria”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In presenting the amendments to the council’s constitution, Councillor Bray highlighted an addition in the supplementary agenda proposing a change to how motions and amendments were handled. It was moved by Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor J Crooks and unanimously

 

RESOLVED – the amendments listed in the appendices to the report and the supplementary agenda be approved.

591.

Petition Scheme pdf icon PDF 384 KB

In moving the recommendations within the report, Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor Crooks, will move that a sentence be included in the Petition Scheme to the effect that:

 

“Discretion will be allowed for petitions with fewer signatures due to relating to a single parish or village issue to be considered by the Scrutiny Commission or Council with the agreement of the Chief Executive in consultation with the ward councillor(s)”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In presenting the updated Petition Scheme, Councillor Bray drew attention to the addition in the supplementary agenda in relation to single parish or village issues. In response to a question from a councillor, it was noted that petition organisers and signatories had to be over 18 years old, but there may be exceptional circumstances where a supplementary petition from those under 18 would be accepted in support of the main petition. It was moved by Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor J Crooks and

 

RESOLVED – the Petition Scheme be adopted.

592.

Appointments to charitable bodies

To make appointments to the following charitable bodies following expiry of the term of office of the current representative(s):

 

(a)  Alderman Newton’s Educational Foundation, Barwell (one representative for a three year term)

 

It will be moved by Councillor Bray and seconded by Councillor Bill that Mathew Hulbert be appointed as the Council’s representative to Alderman Newton’s Educational Foundation, Barwell.

 

(b)  The Dixie Educational Foundation (four representatives for a three year term).

 

It will be moved by Councillor Bray and seconded by Councillor Bill that the following be appointed to the Dixie Educational Foundation:

 

Mrs J Glennon

Cllr M Cartwright

Cllr M Cook

Cllr W Crooks.

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor Bill and

 

RESOLVED – the following appointments to charitable bodies be approved:

 

(i)            Alderman Newton’s Educational Foundation, Barwell:

Mr M Hulbert;

 

(ii)           The Dixie Educational Foundation:

Cllr M Cartwright

Cllr M Cook

Cllr W Crooks

Mrs J Glennon.

593.

Motions received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 17

593a

Motion from Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor Nichols

“This Council notes the Government’s decision to place Hinckley and Bosworth, along with the rest of Leicestershire in Tier 3. The Council also notes that Hinckley and Bosworth has the lowest Covid rate per 100,000  in the County, significantly lower than Leicester and a number of other places.

 

This Council further notes that case rates in Hinckley and Bosworth are falling.

 

The Council expresses its thanks and congratulations to the residents in the borough for their efforts and sacrifices which have helped to bring our numbers down.

 

This council believes the Tier 3 restrictions will a devastating blow on businesses in the Borough, particularly our hospitality and leisure sector, many of whom have invested significantly in measures to keep their customers safe.

 

The Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Government to:

 

1.         Express the Council’s concerns for businesses in the Borough and request that further resources be given to the Council to help support these businesses.

 

2.         Ask the Government to reconsider the decision to lump together the whole county when deciding on which tiers put each local authority in.

 

3.         Urge the Government to look again at Hinckley and Bosworth’s progress in the first promised review on December 16th with a view to moving the Borough down the tier system before Christmas.”

Minutes:

Having declared an interest in this item, Councillor Pendlebury left the meeting at 7.37pm.

 

Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor Nichols, proposed the following motion:

 

“This Council notes the Government’s decision to place Hinckley and Bosworth, along with the rest of Leicestershire in Tier 3. The Council also notes that Hinckley and Bosworth has the lowest Covid rate per 100,000  in the County, significantly lower than Leicester and a number of other places.

 

This Council further notes that case rates in Hinckley and Bosworth are falling.

 

The Council expresses its thanks and congratulations to the residents in the borough for their efforts and sacrifices which have helped to bring our numbers down.

 

This council believes the Tier 3 restrictions will a devastating blow on businesses in the Borough, particularly our hospitality and leisure sector, many of whom have invested significantly in measures to keep their customers safe.

 

The Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Government to:

 

1.         Express the Council’s concerns for businesses in the Borough and request that further resources be given to the Council to help support these businesses.

 

2.         Ask the Government to reconsider the decision to lump together the whole county when deciding on which tiers put each local authority in.

 

3.         Urge the Government to look again at Hinckley and Bosworth’s progress in the first promised review on December 16th with a view to moving the Borough down the tier system before Christmas.”

 

RESOLVED – the motion be supported.

593b

Motion from Councillor Ladkin, seconded by Councillor Morrell

“This Council welcomes Boris Johnson’s 18 November 2020 speech on Climate Change and the Green Industrial Revolution and asks our own Climate Change Working Group to consider these proposals and report back to Council”.

 

The following amendment will be moved by moved by Councillor Cartwright and seconded by Councillor Gibbens:

 

“This Council notes Boris Johnson’s 18 November 2020 speech on climate change and the green industrial revolution which has been criticised as being a ‘far cry’ from what will be needed to reach net-zero emissions according to climate experts. The Council asks our own Climate Change Working Group to consider these proposals and report back to Council.”

Minutes:

This motion was withdrawn.

 

Councillor Pendlebury returned to the meeting at 8.11pm.

593c

Motion from Councillor Roberts, seconded by Councillor Smith

“This Council welcomes the announcement on 2 December that the Member of Parliament for Bosworth, Dr Luke Evans MP, has been confirmed as the joint winner of ‘The Patchwork Foundation Overall Newcomer MP of the Year Award’. Dr Evans has been recognised for his work on improving schooling, including being instrumental in helping Hinckley Academy obtain funding. The award also recognises his work supporting the windrush generation which has helped a number of residents in Hinckley & Bosworth.

 

Council requests the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council write to our MP to congratulate him on receiving this award”.

 

The following amendment will be moved by Councillor Webber-Jones and seconded by Councillor Sheppard-Bools:

 

This Council welcomes the announcement on 2 December that the Member of Parliament for Bosworth, Dr Luke Evans MP, has been confirmed as the joint winner of ‘The Patchwork Foundation Overall Newcomer MP of the Year Award’. Dr Evans has been recognised for his work on improving schooling, including being instrumental in helping Hinckley Academy obtain funding, which has been long under-funded by the Conservative Government. The award also recognises his work supporting the windrush generation which has helped a number of residents in Hinckley & Bosworth.

 

The Council expresses disappointment that the MP has put "Boris before Bosworth" on a number of issues that are damaging to our area. These include voting against free school meals for local children, voting for Hinckley and Bosworth being put in Tier 3 with the devastating impact this will have on local businesses, opposed maintaining food standards in future trade deals and expressing his broad support for the Government's harmful planning reforms.

 

Council requests the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council write to our MP to congratulate him on receiving this award and express these sentiments.”

Minutes:

This motion was withdrawn.

593d

Motion from Councillor Bill, seconded by Councillor Walker

“The Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LLLEP), of which this Council is a member, has a  Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) which covers the period 2014 to 2020 and is therefore now due for renewal.

 

A key element of the plan is the designation of a wide section of the County as the “South West Leicestershire Growth Area” an area which encompasses the so called Golden Triangle formed by the M69, M1 and  A5 and which spreads well into the Hinckley & Bosworth area. The significance of this designation is outlined on page 47 of the plan, which states:

 

“The South-West Leicestershire Growth Area offers a unique combination of key commercial and employment hubs. These provide the opportunity to harness major employment and housing opportunities for Leicester and Leicestershire. The M1 corridor (including the M69/M1 junction 21 location) and A5 corridor are crucial economic areas in their own right, with established and expanding services, distribution, retail and leisure roles providing thousands of jobs for the sub-region”

 

The emergence of the proposal for a rail freight terminal adjacent to Burbage Common demonstrates how the SEP could be taken as a justification for this unwelcome over-development over important countryside.

 

Countryside and green spaces are vitally important for localities and are highly valued environmental, community and economic assets.

 

The Council will, through its membership of the LEP, strive to ensure that the LEP’s future plans and strategies recognise the benefits of the provision of countryside and green space and ensure that protecting the natural environment and the interests of the people who live here is given at least as much weight as the ambitions of the ever increasing logistics industry.”

Minutes:

Councillor Bill, seconded by Councillor Walker, proposed the following motion:

 

“The Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LLLEP), of which this Council is a member, has a  Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) which covers the period 2014 to 2020 and is therefore now due for renewal.

 

A key element of the plan is the designation of a wide section of the County as the “South West Leicestershire Growth Area” an area which encompasses the so called Golden Triangle formed by the M69, M1 and  A5 and which spreads well into the Hinckley & Bosworth area. The significance of this designation is outlined on page 47 of the plan, which states:

 

“The South-West Leicestershire Growth Area offers a unique combination of key commercial and employment hubs. These provide the opportunity to harness major employment and housing opportunities for Leicester and Leicestershire. The M1 corridor (including the M69/M1 junction 21 location) and A5 corridor are crucial economic areas in their own right, with established and expanding services, distribution, retail and leisure roles providing thousands of jobs for the sub-region”

 

The emergence of the proposal for a rail freight terminal adjacent to Burbage Common demonstrates how the SEP could be taken as a justification for this unwelcome over-development over important countryside.

 

Countryside and green spaces are vitally important for localities and are highly valued environmental, community and economic assets.

 

The Council will, through its membership of the LEP, strive to ensure that the LEP’s future plans and strategies recognise the benefits of the provision of countryside and green space and ensure that protecting the natural environment and the interests of the people who live here is given at least as much weight as the ambitions of the ever increasing logistics industry.”

 

RESOLVED – the motion be supported.