Agenda and minutes

Council - Tuesday, 5 October 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: De Montfort Suite, Hinckley Hub. View directions

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

Note: See 'media' below to view the meeting on YouTube 

Media

Items
No. Item

170.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors C Allen, R Allen, Gibbens, Morrell, Nichols, Smith, Webber-Jones and H Williams.

171.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 10 August 2021.

Minutes:

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

 

RESOLVED – the minutes of the previous meeting be approved as a correct record.

172.

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:

No interests were declared.

173.

Mayor's Communications

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

Minutes:

The Mayor reported on the very successful Proms in the Park event on 4 September. He also reported on a visit to Hinckley Museum and the classic car show organised by Hinckley BID. The Mayor congratulated those involved in organising the events.

174.

Questions

(a)        Question from Councillor L Mullaney to the Leader of the Council:

 

“Leader, may I ask what the key objectives and positive outcomes that have arisen from the Crescent regeneration scheme and what the people of Hinckley have said about their priorities for it and how have we reported on the scheme’s commercial performance?”

 

Response from Councillor Bray:

 

“The Council set out its ambition for the bus station site in its development brief published in 2007. These are summarised as follows:

 

    Significantly improve the retail shopping offer

    Deliver new leisure facilities including a state of the art multi-screen cinema

    Secure a high quality building

    Achieve a sustainable development that enhanced the public realm of the town centre.

 

A number of key objectives underpinned this ambition:

 

    To provide retail, leisure and other facilities for the local community to meet identified need and help sustain the vitality and visibility of the town centre

    Contribute for the growth and improvement of the town centre with new quality retail and leisure facilities, leading to improved investor confidence in Hinckley

    Assist in preventing the identified leakage of spend out of Hinckley to competing centres

    To vastly improve the ambience of the area for those who work and live in the vicinity of the site

    Restoring community pride in the area

    Providing a major employment opportunity in a sustainable location, creating new investment opportunities and over 600 new jobs

    Addressing the existing town centre transport issues by providing an improved bus station for the town, together with enhance public parking provision

    Bringing significant improvements to the built environment and landscape of the town

    Creating and enhancing pedestrian and cycle routes through the site and enhancing linkage with the rest of the town centre

    Creating new areas of landscaping, public areas and open space to improve the environmental and public realm of the area.

 

All of these key objectives have been met. In addition, an independent report commissioned in 2015 placed Hinckley in the top 5% of retail footprint centres in the UK as a result of the development and improved its standing from 23rd to the 11th largest retail footprint centre in the East Midlands.

 

Further independent economic assessments that have been undertaken also demonstrate the significant economic impact of the Crescent. In 2017, a study undertaken by Amion showed the total economic impact being generated by the scheme for Hinckley town centre was more than £20M net additional GVA per annum, with over 1,000 additional jobs generated linked to an £82M capital investment into the scheme.

 

A further economic study undertaken by Warwickshire Economics in 2019 highlighted that Hinckley town centre generated £178M of GVA to the local economy with retail and leisure accounting for £57.6M GVA (45.5%).

 

It is, therefore, clear that despite the economic and more recent Covid Pandemic challenges, the Crescent has been a huge success, contributing significantly to the economic and physical regeneration of the town centre.  ...  view the full agenda text for item 174.

Minutes:

(a)        Question from Councillor L Mullaney to the Leader of the Council:

 

“Leader, may I ask what the key objectives and positive outcomes that have arisen from the Crescent regeneration scheme and what the people of Hinckley have said about their priorities for it and how have we reported on the scheme’s commercial performance?”

 

Response from Councillor Bray:

 

“The Council set out its ambition for the bus station site in its development brief published in 2007. These are summarised as follows:

 

    Significantly improve the retail shopping offer

    Deliver new leisure facilities including a state of the art multi-screen cinema

    Secure a high quality building

    Achieve a sustainable development that enhanced the public realm of the town centre.

 

A number of key objectives underpinned this ambition:

 

    To provide retail, leisure and other facilities for the local community to meet identified need and help sustain the vitality and visibility of the town centre

    Contribute for the growth and improvement of the town centre with new quality retail and leisure facilities, leading to improved investor confidence in Hinckley

    Assist in preventing the identified leakage of spend out of Hinckley to competing centres

    To vastly improve the ambience of the area for those who work and live in the vicinity of the site

    Restoring community pride in the area

    Providing a major employment opportunity in a sustainable location, creating new investment opportunities and over 600 new jobs

    Addressing the existing town centre transport issues by providing an improved bus station for the town, together with enhance public parking provision

    Bringing significant improvements to the built environment and landscape of the town

    Creating and enhancing pedestrian and cycle routes through the site and enhancing linkage with the rest of the town centre

    Creating new areas of landscaping, public areas and open space to improve the environmental and public realm of the area.

 

All of these key objectives have been met. In addition, an independent report commissioned in 2015 placed Hinckley in the top 5% of retail footprint centres in the UK as a result of the development and improved its standing from 23rd to the 11th largest retail footprint centre in the East Midlands.

 

Further independent economic assessments that have been undertaken also demonstrate the significant economic impact of the Crescent. In 2017, a study undertaken by Amion showed the total economic impact being generated by the scheme for Hinckley town centre was more than £20M net additional GVA per annum, with over 1,000 additional jobs generated linked to an £82M capital investment into the scheme.

 

A further economic study undertaken by Warwickshire Economics in 2019 highlighted that Hinckley town centre generated £178M of GVA to the local economy with retail and leisure accounting for £57.6M GVA (45.5%).

 

It is, therefore, clear that despite the economic and more recent Covid Pandemic challenges, the Crescent has been a huge success, contributing significantly to the economic and physical regeneration of the town centre.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 174.

175.

Leader of the Council's Position Statement

I am pleased to welcome back all Members to the Council Chamber for the Council meeting, which is the first time we have convened here, in full, since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

 

The key items of business on the agenda tonight are the Gambling Act policy, which will be presented by Executive lead, Cllr Martin Cartwright, and a report on appointing external auditors, which will be presented by Executive lead, Cllr Keith Lynch. We also have a motion presented by Cllr Michael Mullaney and seconded by Cllr Ann Pendlebury on universal credit.

 

I have set out below a few key updates.

 

Devolution

 

I have recently confirmed my general support, along with other district leaders, to the County Council’s expression of interest to Government for a devolution deal. It is entitled “A great connected county – a devolution deal for Leicestershire” and will cover the following main themes; investment fund for key projects; infrastructure to support sustainable and inclusive growth via an uplifted transport settlement; environment and net zero powers and funding; digital connectivity and broadband; adult skills; tourism and healthcare integration; children and young people commissioning. Crucially it is important to note that the deal does not involve local government reform and restructuring for Leicestershire. I would have concerns over any proposals for elected mayors as a pre-condition of any devolution deal on which my strong views are well known.

 

Afghan resettlement and asylum seekers

 

The Council has been working with other Leicestershire districts to support vulnerable Afghan families and I am pleased to confirm we will be accommodating one family in the borough. Following contact from the Home Office over the potential use of a hotel in Earl Shilton for asylum seekers, I can report that following representation made by the Council and other agencies, including the police and fire service, the Home Office have made the sensible decision to withdraw this proposal.

 

Local policing operation

 

I would like to express my thanks to officers in housing and community safety who have supported the police with intelligence and via daily briefings in a major drugs operation over the last few weeks in the area. This has led to 43 people arrested for buying and selling drugs - known as County Lines. This includes a number of significant individuals who are believed to have been controlling the ‘County Lines’. This involves criminals from larger cities moving to particular areas, such as ours, often into vulnerable peoples’ houses in order to take over their lives by establishing a drug supply criminal enterprise in that area. This can have significant consequence for communities and vulnerable people, whilst also raising crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.

 

The policing operation, called Operation Impose, has executed 73 warrants. During the operation officers recovered almost £200,000 in cash, various offensive weapons and around 6kg of heroin with a value in excess of £300,000 – not taking into account street value.

 

I would like to also extend my thanks to Jamie Osborne the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 175.

Minutes:

In his position statement, the leader referred to:

 

·         General support for the county council’s expression of interest to government for a devolution deal

·         Work to support Afghan resettlement

·         The successful policing operation in relation to “County Lines”

·         The reopening of the Meadows Community Centre in Burbage

·         The recent VCS celebration and handover of voluntary sector support from Next Generation to the RCC

·         Recent successful events including Proms in the Park

·         Guidance received to support residents in organising street parties to celebrate the platinum jubilee

·         The launch of a new round of recovery grants for local businesses.

176.

Minutes of the Scrutiny Commission pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To receive for information only the minutes of the Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 16 September 2021.

Minutes:

The chairman of the Scrutiny Commission presented the minutes of the last meeting.

177.

Gambling Act Policy pdf icon PDF 387 KB

To consider the refreshed Gambling Policy as required under the Gambling Act 2005.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The refreshed Gambling policy (statement of principles) was presented to members. It was moved by Councillor Cartwright, seconded by Councillor Sheppard-Bools and

 

RESOLVED – the Gambling Policy be adopted.

178.

Arrangements for Appointing the External Auditors pdf icon PDF 739 KB

To approve the arrangements for appointing external auditors.

Minutes:

Members received a report which contained options for appointing external auditors from 2023/24. Members sought reassurance that previous issues with delays in the external audit process had been overcome. It was moved by Councillor Lynch, seconded by Councillor Cope and

 

RESOLVED – the external audit provider continue to be appointed under the PSAA procurement contract.

179.

Motion proposed by Councillor M Mullaney and seconded by Councillor Findlay

Motion proposed by Councillor M Mullaney and seconded by Councillor Pendlebury

 

Making the Universal Credit Uplift permanent

 

Council notes that the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift is coming to an end on 6 October.

 

According to the Joseph Rowntree Trust, 6,790 families locally will be hit by the £20 a week Universal Credit reduction.

 

The cut in Universal Credit comes at a time when many people are struggling to meet the costs of rising energy bills and many low income working people will also be hit by National Insurance rises from April 2023.

 

Council calls on the government to drop its plans to reduce Universal Credit and to make the Universal Credit Uplift permanent.

 

Council resolves to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling for the Universal Credit uplift to be made permanent.

Minutes:

The following motion was moved by Councillor M Mullaney and seconded by Councillor Pendlebury:

 

“Council notes that the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift is coming to an end on 6 October.

 

According to the Joseph Rowntree Trust, 6,790 families locally will be hit by the £20 a week Universal Credit reduction.

 

The cut in Universal Credit comes at a time when many people are struggling to meet the costs of rising energy bills and many low income working people will also be hit by National Insurance rises from April 2023.

 

Council calls on the government to drop its plans to reduce Universal Credit and to make the Universal Credit Uplift permanent.

 

Council resolves to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling for the Universal Credit uplift to be made permanent.”

 

Councillor Bray, supported by nine further councillors, requested that voting on the motion be recorded. The vote was recorded as follows:

 

Councillors Bill, Bray, Cartwright, Cope, M Crooks, W Crooks, Findlay, Flemming, Glenville, Hodgkins, Hollick, Lay, Lynch, L Mullaney, M Mullaney, Pendlebury, Sheppard-Bools, Walker and Williams voted FOR the motion (19);

 

Councillors Boothby, Collett, Cook, Ladkin, O’Shea and Roberts voted AGAINST the motion (6).

 

The motion was therefore declared CARRIED and it was

 

RESOLVED – a letter be sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling on the government to drop its plans to reduce universal credit and to make the universal credit uplift permanent.