Agenda and minutes

Council - Tuesday, 12 July 2022 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 watch the meeting via YouTube 

Media

Items
No. Item

62.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors C Allen, R Allen, Boothby, Bray, Cope, Furlong, Lay, Roberts, Smith, Webber-Jones and P Williams.

63.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 171 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meetings held on 26 April and 17 May 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Bill, seconded by Councillor W Crooks and

 

RESOLVED – the minutes of the meetings held on 26 April and 17 May be approved and signed by the Mayor.

64.

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:

Whilst some members who were also parish councillors wished to declare an interest in the community governance review, they were informed that this was not required.

 

No further declarations were made.

65.

Mayor's Communications

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

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Council of recent events she had attended including the commemoration of 100 years of Hinckley’s war memorial, the Princes Trust presentation day, Proms in the Park, Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Mallory Mile, the Making a Difference awards, the opening of Ambion Court sheltered housing scheme, North Warwickshire & South Leicestershire College’s fashion show, the Armed Forces day service and the Soapbox Derby. The Mayor thanked the council’s events and green spaces teams for their hard work on Proms in the Park and thanked Edwina Grant for her work on the Making a Difference awards.

 

The Mayor was thanked for attending many Jubilee street parties across the borough in support of residents.

 

A member also thanked officers for attending an emergency issue at Ambion Court on a Saturday afternoon to support residents who were without mains water.

66.

Questions pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To deal with questions under Council Procedure Rule number 14.

Minutes:

(a)        Question from Councillor Walker to the Leader of Council

 

“Can the Leader confirm that HBBC kept the doors open right through the pandemic, unlike other district councils in Leicestershire?”

 

Response from Councillor Bray:

 

“I would like to thank Councillor Walker for his question. I can confirm we continued to support all of our customers throughout the pandemic by a variety of means including over the ‘phone, through the website and importantly we still saw those who requested in person advice at our offices.

 

I’m also pleased to confirm that during the pandemic the council invested in even more ways to help people by adding a new web chat service option to our award winning website, enabling more customers to find answers to their queries and at a time convenient to them. The web chat service was first installed late last year and since March over 2000 customers have already used it. This option frees up the customer service team to spend more dedicated one-to-one time with customers who have more complex queries or who need extra support”.

 

(b)        Question from Councillor Sheppard-Bools to the Executive member for Planning

 

“I would like to ask our Executive member for Planning what the current status is of the actions required to secure compliance with the outstanding works for completion of open space and landscaping scheme which were required by condition for the Bellway Paddock site at Desford?

 

Residents who have occupied the new development feel extremely let down by Bellway Homes and I would like matters regarding the landscaping to be resolved as soon as possible. This will enable them to live in an environment that they were promised when acquiring their new homes. I would like to know what actions the council has been taking regarding planning enforcement and what other measures the council can take to help with the speedy resolution of these outstanding matters”.

 

Response from Councillor Bill

 

“I would like to thank the local ward member for Desford for this question and I sympathise with his and the residents’ concerns and frustration over how long it has been taking to complete these outstanding landscaping works to a satisfactory standard, especially since the completion and occupation of the new homes.

 

I am aware that residents have been contacted recently by Greenbelt, the intended future management company and that this has caused further concern to residents regarding the satisfactory completion of the landscaping by Bellway before it is handed over.

 

I can advise that the council’s enforcement team are in current and active discussion with Bellway Homes to secure satisfactory compliance with the landscaping conditions on the site. I can clarify that the conditions have not been discharged as the works undertaken so far are not considered to be of a satisfactory standard to comply with the conditions. Whilst the developers have completed some works such as the clearing of the self-setting plants from the balancing ponds, they have still not resolved other outstanding landscaping works.

 

Whilst we will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.

67.

Leader of the Council's Position Statement

To receive the Leader of the Council's Position Statement.

Minutes:

In the absence of the Leader, no position statement was presented.

68.

Minutes of the Scrutiny Commission pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To receive for information only the minutes of the Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 9 June 2022.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Scrutiny Commission were received for information.

69.

Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 570 KB

To seek approval for the 2022/23 to 2025/26 Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for 2022/23 to 2025/26. During discussion, reference was made to the following:

 

·         The high levels of uncertainty and risk to local government funding generally and the finances of the council

·         Business rates

·         New Homes Bonus

·         The garden waste collection charge

·         Reduction in government funding

·         Estimated increase in fuel costs

·         The wholly owned company

·         The crematorium development, for which a report would be presented to the next Scrutiny Commission.

 

Members thanked the finance team for their work on the document.

 

It was moved by Councillor Lynch, seconded by Councillor M Mullaney and

 

RESOLVED – the updated Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2022/23 – 2025/26 be approved.

70.

Community Governance Review - draft recommendations pdf icon PDF 291 KB

To present the draft recommendations of the Community Governance Review Working Group and seek approval for their publication for consultation for a period of eight weeks.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the draft recommendations of the Community Governance Review Working Group following arising from the initial consultation period. Some concern was expressed that despite requests for a change in the boundary of Groby and Markfield parishes during the initial consultation, residents of Field Head may not be supportive of this change. It was, however, noted that this was the purpose of consulting on the recommendations at this stage.

 

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

 

RESOLVED – the following recommendations be published for consultation for a period of eight weeks from 13 July to 7 September 2022 for the reasons contained in the report:

 

Bagworth & Thornton parish: The overall number of seats remains the same with Bagworth ward increasing from four to five seats and Thornton ward decreasing from four to three seats;

 

Groby parish: The boundary be redrawn between Groby and Markfield parishes to result in Field Head becoming part of Markfield Parish. The number of councillors for Groby Parish Council be set at 13 with no warding;

 

Markfield parish: The boundary be redrawn to incorporate Field Head ward within Markfield parish. The number of councillors for Markfield Parish Council be set at 12 with 11 for Markfield ward and one for Field Head ward;

 

Peckleton parish: The name of the parish be amended to “Kirkby Mallory, Peckleton & Stapleton Parish”;

 

Stoke Golding parish: The number of councillors on Stoke Golding Parish Council be increased from seven to eight;

 

Sutton Cheney parish: The name of the parish be amended to “Dadlington & Sutton Cheney Parish” and the number of councillors for Dadlington ward be increased from three to four;

 

Witherley parish: The name of the parish be amended to “Witherley & Fenny Drayton Parish” and the number of councillors for Witherley ward be increased from four to five”.

 

Councillor Collett subsequently requested that it be recorded that he abstained from voting on this item.

71.

Motions received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 17

71a

Motion proposed by Councillor M Mullaney, seconded by Councillor Sheppard-Bools

“This Council notes that:

 

·         On 1 April 2022, Ofgem increased the energy price cap by 54 per cent

·         In light of the increased energy price cap, the average standard tariff energy bill will increase by £693 per year. The average pre-pay meter energy bill will increase by £708 per year (Ofgem, 2022)

·         In 2021/22, Hinckley & Bosworth food banks distributed food parcels at a rate of 4,900 per 100,000 people (Trussell Trust, 2022).

 

Council notes the decision taken in June 2022 by the government to impose a ‘windfall tax’ on the super-profits of oil and gas companies and to redistribute this as a one-off payment of £400 to households later this year. Council notes that this windfall tax was first proposed by Sir Ed Davey MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats, in January 2022. Though the windfall tax is welcome, Council believes it does not go nearly far enough and the government should be doing much more to support local people through the cost of living crisis.

 

This Council therefore declares a ‘cost of living emergency’ and calls on the government to:

 

·         Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent for one year, saving the average household in Hinckley & Bosworth a further £600 this year

·         Immediately restore the universal credit supplement of £20 which was cancelled by the government in September 2021.

 

Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to express the Council’s demands for VAT to be cut to 17.5% and for the £20 universal credit supplement to be restored.”

Minutes:

The following motion was proposed by Councillor M Mullaney and seconded by Councillor Sheppard-Bools:

 

“This Council notes that:

 

·         On 1 April 2022, Ofgem increased the energy price cap by 54 per cent

·         In light of the increased energy price cap, the average standard tariff energy bill will increase by £693 per year. The average pre-pay meter energy bill will increase by £708 per year (Ofgem, 2022)

·         In 2021/22, Hinckley & Bosworth food banks distributed food parcels at a rate of 4,900 per 100,000 people (Trussell Trust, 2022).

 

Council notes the decision taken in June 2022 by the government to impose a ‘windfall tax’ on the super-profits of oil and gas companies and to redistribute this as a one-off payment of £400 to households later this year. Council notes that this windfall tax was first proposed by Sir Ed Davey MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats, in January 2022. Though the windfall tax is welcome, Council believes it does not go nearly far enough and the government should be doing much more to support local people through the cost of living crisis.

 

This Council therefore declares a ‘cost of living emergency’ and calls on the government to:

 

·         Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent for one year, saving the average household in Hinckley & Bosworth a further £600 this year

·         Immediately restore the universal credit supplement of £20 which was cancelled by the government in September 2021.

 

Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to express the Council’s demands for VAT to be cut to 17.5% and for the £20 universal credit supplement to be restored.”

 

During discussion, the following points were raised:

 

·         There was a cost of living crisis

·         Businesses were suffering as a result of increasing costs and decreasing sales

·         Pensioners and carers were struggling as a result of increasing costs

·         Increasing costs to heat homes would lead to deaths over the winter months

·         That representations be sent to other appropriate government ministers.

 

Members were informed of a public event on 15 September in partnership with the Salvation Army and other organisations to provide advice and support in relation to the cost of living increases, details of which would be circulated to members.

 

The motion having been moved and seconded, Councillor M Mullaney along with five further councillors requested that voting on the motion be recorded. The vote was taken as follows:

 

Councillors Bill, Cartwright, M Crooks, W Crooks, Findlay, Flemming, Gibbens, Glenville, Hodgkins, Hollick, Lynch, L Mullaney, M Mullaney, Nichols, Pendlebury, Sheppard-Bools, Walker and H Williams voted FOR the motion (18);

 

Councillors Collett, Cook, Ladkin, Morrell and O’Shea voted AGAINST the motion (5).

 

The motion was therefore declared CARRIED and it was

 

RESOLVED - Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to express the Council’s demands for VAT to be cut to 17.5% and for the £20 universal credit supplement to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71a

71b

Motion proposed by Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor Bill

“Council notes the exchange in the House of Commons between Luke Evans MP and the Secretary of State Michael Gove and previous exchange with the former Planning Minister Chris Pincher on similar matters which, given recent events, might raise questions in the publics eyes over his judgement.

 

Council also notes that the only party who has opposed progress in the Hinckley & Bosworth Local Plan are the Conservative group.

 

Council further notes the significant donations received by the Conservative party by house builders and other developers over the last few years.

 

The Council notes with concern the recent national guidance issued by government requiring additional work to be undertaken on the local plan before it can be progressed to examination which has caused many councils to pause progress on their plans.

 

Council highlights its concern arising from the government’s build, build, build target of 300,000 new homes a year which has caused undue pressures on local planning authorities to meet these targets and therefore adversely impacting on local plan progress. This is clearly illustrated by Leicester City not being able to meet its housing needs therefore placing more pressure on districts in Leicestershire to take additional housing.

 

Council therefore resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the speaker of the House of Commons to set the record straight.”

Minutes:

It was noted that this motion had been withdrawn.