Agenda and minutes

Council - Tuesday, 6 September 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 meeting via youtube 

Media

Items
No. Item

120.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Boothby, Collett, Cope, Nichols, O’Shea and Sheppard-Bools.

121.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2022.

Minutes:

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

 

RESOLVED – the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July be approved and signed by the Mayor.

122.

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.

123.

Mayor's Communications

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

Minutes:

The Mayor paid tribute to John Cornell, Environmental Health Officer, who had worked at the borough council for 31 years and who had recently passed away.

124.

Questions

To deal with questions under Council Procedure Rule number 14.

124a

Question from Councillor R Allen to the Leader of Council pdf icon PDF 135 KB

“This Council has debated and passed many motions during the life of the current Council. Can the Chief Executive please provide a comprehensive list of motions passed by Council from 1 May 2019, to include a list of all action points agreed, actions taken and outcomes achieved?”.

 

Response from the Leader

 

“Thank you Councillor Allen for your question. Please find attached a record of actions taken in response to motions since May 2019”.

Minutes:

“This Council has debated and passed many motions during the life of the current Council. Can the Chief Executive please provide a comprehensive list of motions passed by Council from 1 May 2019, to include a list of all action points agreed, actions taken and outcomes achieved?”.

 

The Leader provided the following response, along with a copy of outcomes from motions approved since May 2019:

 

“Thank you Councillor Allen for your question. Please find attached a record of actions taken in response to motions since May 2019”.

124b

Question from Councillor Ladkin to the Executive member for Finance

“I am sure that we are all deeply concerned to see the reports in the media regarding the possible collapse of the Cineworld Cinema Group.

 

This raises a number of urgent questions for this Council:

 

·         What contingency plans does this Council have in place should Cineworld cease trading and / or are unable to continue operating the cinema in Hinckley, to attract a replacement operator or tenant to that particular unit?

·         What are the implications to this Council on a monthly / annual basis in terms of lost rent, business rates liability and any other potential insurance or utilities liabilities?

·         Will the Council undertake to commission a current open market valuation of this Council’s interest in the Crescent block C, for presentation and discussion at the first available Scrutiny Commission meeting after completion of such a report?”

 

Response from Councillor Lynch

 

“Members will be well aware that the cinema complex run by Cineworld in the Crescent was the number one priority voiced by residents of the borough during the consultation on the bus station redevelopment.

 

The first thing to note in respect of the recent news is that Cineworld is not declaring bankruptcy in the UK, but Chaper 11 Bankruptcy in America. This is a specific piece of law in America and is a chapter of the US Bankruptcy Code which generally provides for reorganisation. The debtor (Cineworld) usually proposes a plan of reorganisation to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. Therefore, it is very premature to assume at this stage the business is going to close due to this consideration. Indeed, Cineworld are publicly reporting they are seeking to restructure their finances to continue operating.

 

Cineworld also owns the Picturehouse chain in the UK and has insisted its cinemas “remain open for business” and that there would be “no significant impact” on jobs.

 

This provides some level of assurance, which needs to be kept in mind when considering the questions posed. At this stage it would seem premature to be considering Cineworld is in danger of closing in the immediate future. Further steps would need to be taken before this happens. Turning to the specific questions:

 

1.    What contingency plans does this Council have in place should Cineworld cease trading and / or are unable to continue operating the cinema in Hinckley, to attract a replacement operator or tenant to that particular unit?

 

HBBC has a lease in place with Cineworld for a 25-year terms which was completed in 2016.

 

Within the terms of the lease there are two routes of action HBBC can take depending upon the circumstances, should they arise. Firstly, it can seek to negotiate surrender of the licence with Cineworld or secondly, serve them with a forfeiture notice. The precise process and detail of either action will be determined once an understanding of Cineworld’s actual intentions are fully understood. HBBC will then need to take further legal advice once facts are known.

 

Officers of the council have already sought legal  ...  view the full agenda text for item 124b

Minutes:

“I am sure that we are all deeply concerned to see the reports in the media regarding the possible collapse of the Cineworld Cinema Group.

 

This raises a number of urgent questions for this Council:

 

·         What contingency plans does this Council have in place should Cineworld cease trading and / or are unable to continue operating the cinema in Hinckley, to attract a replacement operator or tenant to that particular unit?

·         What are the implications to this Council on a monthly / annual basis in terms of lost rent, business rates liability and any other potential insurance or utilities liabilities?

·         Will the Council undertake to commission a current open market valuation of this Council’s interest in the Crescent block C, for presentation and discussion at the first available Scrutiny Commission meeting after completion of such a report?”

 

The Executive member for Finance, Councillor Lynch, provided the following response:

 

“Members will be well aware that the cinema complex run by Cineworld in the Crescent was the number one priority voiced by residents of the borough during the consultation on the bus station redevelopment.

 

The first thing to note in respect of the recent news is that Cineworld is not declaring bankruptcy in the UK, but Chaper 11 Bankruptcy in America. This is a specific piece of law in America and is a chapter of the US Bankruptcy Code which generally provides for reorganisation. The debtor (Cineworld) usually proposes a plan of reorganisation to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. Therefore, it is very premature to assume at this stage the business is going to close due to this consideration. Indeed, Cineworld are publicly reporting they are seeking to restructure their finances to continue operating.

 

Cineworld also owns the Picturehouse chain in the UK and has insisted its cinemas “remain open for business” and that there would be “no significant impact” on jobs.

 

This provides some level of assurance, which needs to be kept in mind when considering the questions posed. At this stage it would seem premature to be considering Cineworld is in danger of closing in the immediate future. Further steps would need to be taken before this happens. Turning to the specific questions:

 

1.    What contingency plans does this Council have in place should Cineworld cease trading and / or are unable to continue operating the cinema in Hinckley, to attract a replacement operator or tenant to that particular unit?

 

HBBC has a lease in place with Cineworld for a 25-year terms which was completed in 2016.

 

Within the terms of the lease there are two routes of action HBBC can take depending upon the circumstances, should they arise. Firstly, it can seek to negotiate surrender of the licence with Cineworld or secondly, serve them with a forfeiture notice. The precise process and detail of either action will be determined once an understanding of Cineworld’s actual intentions are fully understood. HBBC will then need to take further legal advice once facts are known.

 

Officers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124b

125.

Petitions

To deal with petitions submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 15.

125a

Petition from Councillor Lay

Councillor Lay will present a petition on behalf of residents consisting of 114 signatures with the title “We, the undersigned as electors in Field Head, fully support the proposed change that would see Field Head become part of Markfield Parish Council. We believe this outcome is in the best interests of all Field Head residents and wish these views to be known and considered”.

Minutes:

Councillor Lay presented a petition on behalf of residents consisting of 114 signatures with the title “We, the undersigned as electors in Field Head, fully support the proposed change that would see Field Head become part of Markfield Parish Council. We believe this outcome is in the best interests of all Field Head residents and wish these views to be known and considered”.

 

The petition was received by the Democratic Services Manager to be placed with responses to the consultation on the community governance review.

125b

Petition from Councillor Cartwright

Councillor Cartwright will present a petition with 69 signatures with the subject “5G mobile telephone mast petition. Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council 22/00734/TGDO”.

Minutes:

Councillor Cartwright presented a petition with 69 signatures with the subject “5G mobile telephone mast petition. Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council 22/00734/TGDO”.

 

The petition was received by the Democratic Services Manager to be placed on file for the aforementioned application.

126.

Leader of the Council's Position Statement

Welcome to tonight’s meeting, on the day that the new Prime Minister has been announced. Let’s all hope we get some stability nationally and an effective response to the national cost of living crisis.

 

I have the following key items to report.

 

Cost of living support event

 

I am pleased to report this Council, with the support of local partners, will be convening a cost of living event on Saturday, 1 October. It will be hosted at the Meeting Centre, Hinckley, between 10am and 1pm. Residents of the borough will have the opportunity to meet officers of the Council and representatives from a range of organisations to access advice and support on household budgeting, managing debt, managing energy and fuel bills, housing costs, and benefits. The event will also help residents understand how to look after their mental health and wellbeing, as well as ideas for cooking on a budget with taster sessions. This important initiative will be a free drop in event.

 

Ukraine family event

 

I was delighted to attend a recent social evening with many of the Ukrainian guests and their hosts who we have welcomed into the borough. I was joined by my Executive lead for Housing and Community Safety and senior officers of the Council. The event was held at Hinckley Rugby Club and was attended by over 100 guests and host family members who were able to come together informally for mutual support during the current Ukrainian crisis.

 

I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to the officers who made this happen and to welcome our new Ukrainian Response Co-ordinator who is assisting families and their hosts.

 

Local plan

 

The Council will be issuing a press statement confirming our commitment to press on with our local plan, following the consultation of the submission draft of the plan published in February. It will highlight that we have been forced to review the timetable based on a number of factors. These include new national requirements and housing targets, uncertainties around government statements on proposed changes to the national planning system and the need for further work by local agencies such as the County Council to assess and advise on local impacts and infrastructure requirements, such as highways and education. In summary, the main issues are:

 

·         The revised methodology published late March by the government’s Office of National Statistics, which has increased the number of new homes the Council must plan for to meet revised affordability requirements

 

·         The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill published by government, which sets out changes in respect of the ‘duty to cooperate’ with adjacent councils and is expected to be replaced by a new ‘alignment test’. However, no details of this new test have been announced, leaving uncertainty about how councils should treat the housing and employment needs of other areas

 

·         A promised new national ‘prospectus’ for changes to the National Planning Policy Framework which has yet to be published – this could have significant implications for how local plans are  ...  view the full agenda text for item 126.

Minutes:

In his position statement, the Leader referred to:

 

·         The cost of living support event

·         The Ukraine family event

·         The local plan

·         The Statement of Common Ground

·         Devolution deals

·         The forthcoming pop-up shops support package

·         Cineworld

·         Successful events held over the summer

·         The national rail freight infrastructure project.

 

The Leader and other members echoed the Mayor’s sentiments in paying tribute to John Cornell.

127.

Minutes of the Scrutiny Commission pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To receive for information only the minutes of the Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 28 July 2022.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Scrutiny Commission meeting on 28 July were received for information.

128.

Business rates write offs pdf icon PDF 419 KB

To seek approval to write off business rates in accordance with approval procedures.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the writing off of business rates of £1,388,499. It was moved by Councillor Lynch, seconded by Councillor Bray and

 

RESOLVED – the write offs listed in paragraph 2.1 of the report, totalling £1,388,499 be approved.

129.

Financial Outturn 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 485 KB

To seek approval of the draft financial outturn for 2021/22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were informed of the draft financial outturn for 2021/22. It was moved by Councillor Lynch, seconded by Councillor Bray and

 

RESOLVED – the following be approved:

 

(i)            The general fund outturn for 2021/22 as outlined in section 3.3 of the report;

 

(ii)          The transfers to earmarked reserves and balances as outlined in section 3.8 of the report and appendix 3;

 

(iii)         The general fund revenue carry forwards of expenditure and income to 2022/23 as detailed in appendices 1 and 2 and section 3.5;

 

(iv)         The housing revenue and housing repairs account outturn for 2021/22 and transfers to and from balances as detailed in sections 3.10 to 3.11;

 

(v)          The capital programme outturn for the general fund and housing revenue account from 2021/22 as outlined in section 3.12 to 3.13 of the report;

 

(vi)         The HRA carry forwards outlined in appendix 4 to the report;

 

(vii)        The capital carry forwards as detailed in appendix 5 and sections 3.12 to 3.13 of the report;

 

(viii)       A budget of £75,368 for the Homes 4 Ukraine Refugees project which will be funded from central government funding passported via the county council as detailed in sections 3.15 to 3.17 of the report.

130.

Section 106 agreement monitoring fees pdf icon PDF 454 KB

To seek approval for the introduction of fees to support monitoring and management of section 106 agreements.

Minutes:

Council considered the introduction of fees to support monitoring and management of section 106 agreements. In response to a member’s question, it was clarified that the fee would be the responsibility of the developer. It was moved by Councillor Bill, seconded by Councillor Bray and

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)            The schedule of monitoring fees as set out in paragraph 3.13 the report be introduced as of 1 October 2022 and reviewed annually;

 

(ii)          The monitoring fee income be used to support the effective monitoring and management of section 106 agreements for the Council.

 

At this juncture, Julie Kenny and Sharon Stacey left the meeting prior to consideration of the following item.

131.

Senior management restructure pdf icon PDF 313 KB

To seek endorsement of the senior management restructure and commitment to other key changes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council was presented with a proposed new senior management structure. The new structure would see the realignment of functions under two directors supported by the Chief Executive and would delete the post of Director (Environment & Planning). It was moved by Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor Allen and

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)            The restructure proposals in respect of the Strategic Leadership Team set out in the report be approved;

 

(ii)          The savings arising from the proposed changes be noted.

132.

Motions received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 17

132a

Motion proposed by Councillor Findlay, seconded by Councillor Bill

“Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, whilst understanding that the adoption of highways is a county council function, resolves that road adoptions within our district are actively pursued by challenging Leicestershire County Council and developers to contructively work together to get adoptions signed off promptly without delay. Council also resolves:

 

(a)  That the borough planning department sets out within a procedure document:

 

         i.    The wording of planning conditions which it proposes be attached to any grant of planning permission where there are roads which will require adoption, including any notes which may also be attached to planning permissions setting out the council’s expectations regarding developer engagement with Leicestershire County Council;

 

        ii.    The Borough Council’s proposed means by which it will support, influence and encourage developers and the County Council to adopt unadopted highways in a timely manner when they are constructed;

 

       iii.    How they local plan, neighbourhood plans and supplementary planning documents can incorporate the principles set out within the procedure document.

 

(b)  That the Chief Executive requests that the County Council provides a list of unadopted roads within the borough every six months and this is cascaded to members;

 

(c)  That the Chief Executive and Executive member for planning policy write a combined letter to seek an explanation and timeframe for resolution of the following examples:

 

·         To Leicestershire County Council and the CEO of Persimmon Homes inc Charles Church Homes querying why it has taken over eight years since first occupation to complete the highways and adoption of the Sketchley Brook estates in Burbage, specifically Crimson Way, Cardinal Drive, Mayflower Gardens and the surrounding roads. Concern should be expressed about the raised ironworks which could cause injury to persons or damage to property such as vehicles

·         To Leicestershire County Council and the CEO of Crest Nicholson querying why it has taken over ten years since first occupation to complete the adoption of the Waterside Park development. Concern should be expressed explicitly explaining the significant delays that residents have faced and their continued frustrations.

 

(d)   That, should an unsatisfactory response be forthcoming from County Hall and Persimmon Homes inc Charles Church Homes in relation to (c), the Council will seek to explore what options it has legally in terms of recourse to enforce completion of the highways so that adoption can be pursued. Council should seek to establish if there are outstanding bonds, indemnities or guarantees held in relation to (c).”

Minutes:

Councillor Findlay and Councillor Bill had given notice of the following motion.

 

“Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, whilst understanding that the adoption of highways is a county council function, resolves that road adoptions within our district are actively pursued by challenging Leicestershire County Council and developers to constructively work together to get adoptions signed off promptly without delay. Council also resolves:

 

(a)  That the borough planning department sets out within a procedure document:

 

         i.    The wording of planning conditions which it proposes be attached to any grant of planning permission where there are roads which will require adoption, including any notes which may also be attached to planning permissions setting out the council’s expectations regarding developer engagement with Leicestershire County Council;

 

        ii.    The Borough Council’s proposed means by which it will support, influence and encourage developers and the County Council to adopt unadopted highways in a timely manner when they are constructed;

 

       iii.    How the local plan, neighbourhood plans and supplementary planning documents can incorporate the principles set out within the procedure document.

 

(b)  That the Chief Executive requests that the County Council provides a list of unadopted roads within the borough every six months and this is cascaded to members;

 

(c)  That the Chief Executive and Executive member for planning policy write a combined letter to seek an explanation and timeframe for resolution of the following examples:

 

·         To Leicestershire County Council and the CEO of Persimmon Homes inc Charles Church Homes querying why it has taken over eight years since first occupation to complete the highways and adoption of the Sketchley Brook estates in Burbage, specifically Crimson Way, Cardinal Drive, Mayflower Gardens and the surrounding roads. Concern should be expressed about the raised ironworks which could cause injury to persons or damage to property such as vehicles

·         To Leicestershire County Council and the CEO of Crest Nicholson querying why it has taken over ten years since first occupation to complete the adoption of the Waterside Park development. Concern should be expressed explicitly explaining the significant delays that residents have faced and their continued frustrations.

 

(d)   That, should an unsatisfactory response be forthcoming from County Hall and Persimmon Homes inc Charles Church Homes in relation to (c), the Council will seek to explore what options it has legally in terms of recourse to enforce completion of the highways so that adoption can be pursued. Council should seek to establish if there are outstanding bonds, indemnities or guarantees held in relation to (c).”

 

Upon being put to the vote, the motion was CARRIED and it was

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)        That the borough planning department sets out within a procedure document:

 

a.      The wording of planning conditions which it proposes be attached to any grant of planning permission where there are roads which will require adoption, including any notes which may also be attached to planning permissions setting out the council’s expectations regarding developer engagement with Leicestershire County Council;

 

b.      The Borough Council’s proposed means by which it will support, influence and encourage  ...  view the full minutes text for item 132a

132b

Motion proposed by Councillor P Williams, seconded by Councillor Gibbens

“This Council:

 

·         Is concerned about the number of cases reported to the RSPCA each year regarding pets given as prizes via fairgrounds, social media and other channels in England and notes the issue predominantly concerns goldfish

·         Is concerned for the welfare of those animals that are being given as prizes

·         Recognises that many cases of pets being as prizes may go unreported each year

·         Supports a move to ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council land.

 

The Council agrees to:

 

·         Ban outright the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council land

·         Write to the UK government urging an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes on both public and private land

·         Write to all parish clerks within Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council’s area, suggesting that they ask their Council to consider implementing an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on their parish land.”

Minutes:

Councillor P Williams and Councillor Gibbens had given notice of the following motions:

 

“This Council:

 

·         Is concerned about the number of cases reported to the RSPCA each year regarding pets given as prizes via fairgrounds, social media and other channels in England and notes the issue predominantly concerns goldfish

·         Is concerned for the welfare of those animals that are being given as prizes

·         Recognises that many cases of pets being as prizes may go unreported each year

·         Supports a move to ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council land.

 

The Council agrees to:

 

·         Ban outright the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council land

·         Write to the UK government urging an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes on both public and private land

·         Write to all parish clerks within Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council’s area, suggesting that they ask their Council to consider implementing an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on their parish land.”

 

Upon being put to the vote, the motion was CARRIED and it was

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)            The giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, be banned on Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council land;

 

(ii)          The government be urged to ban the giving of live animals as prizes on both public and private land;

 

(iii)         Parish councils in the Hinckley & Bosworth area be requested to consider implementing a ban on the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on their parish land.

132c

Motion proposed by Councillor R Allen, seconded by Councillor C Allen

“This Council considers, debates and adopts a wide range of motions proposed by members.

 

These motions by their nature should have the specific intent of addressing issues facing residents in the borough, as well as improving their lives now and in the future.

 

This Council undertakes to produce and maintain and publish at each full Council a full list of motions passed by Council to include updates on the actions taken and outcomes achieved in respect of each motion.

 

This monitoring document will provide a central point for members and residents to view what motions have been adopted and demonstrate what actions have been taken and outcome achieved for their benefit.”

Minutes:

Councillor R Allen and Councillor C Allen had given notice of the following motion:

 

“This Council considers, debates and adopts a wide range of motions proposed by members.

 

These motions by their nature should have the specific intent of addressing issues facing residents in the borough, as well as improving their lives now and in the future.

 

This Council undertakes to produce and maintain and publish at each full Council a full list of motions passed by Council to include updates on the actions taken and outcomes achieved in respect of each motion.

 

This monitoring document will provide a central point for members and residents to view what motions have been adopted and demonstrate what actions have been taken and outcome achieved for their benefit.”

 

Following the suggestion to send a quarterly list out to members, the mover and seconder withdrew their motion.

132d

Motion proposed by Councillor Lay, seconded by Councillor Furlong

“Ending ‘fleeceholding’ in Hinckley & Bosworth.

 

This Council is deeply concerned at the actions of those housebuilders in Hinckley & Bosworth who have decided to hand the management and sometimes ownership of public open spaces to third party private concerns.

 

This Council is appalled that residents are then obliged to pay an annual management fee which can be hundreds of pounds and that this fee can increase without any safeguards or protections or guarantees that services of an acceptable standard will apply.

 

Further, this Council understands that such actions by developers means that millions of pounds of section 106 monies that would have been given to parish councils (who are democratically accountable) to be invested back into local communities is avoided and not paid.

 

Although this practice has been around for some years, it has become almost universal in the last five years and is having numerous negative consequences.

 

The Welsh government published a report on such estate charges and noted that these charges had created two-tier public open spaces with many residents deeply unhappy with the service providers and unhappy at the lack of accountability.

 

Further it was a cause of resentment with access made difficult for non-resident residents on the basis they did not pay for community upkeep.

 

Just as we have seen with the selling of leasehold properties on new estates and the various charges associated, the development industry cannot be trusted to self-regulate itself. The rightly condemned leasehold charges were seen as a disgrace and have been challenged at Westminster. We now need action to curtail and address ‘fleece hold properties’.

 

This motion asks the Council, its officers and its Executive to take positive steps to oppose estate charges. To demonstrate this, we ask that the following recommendation be accepted:

 

·         We raise the matter formally with our local MPs, explaining our grave concerns and ask them to raise these concerns in Parliament

·         We work with other local authorities to campaign effectively to see these practices outlawed or substantially reformed

·         We offer support to residents wishing to legitimately challenge fee increases without rational justification and at a time when many face a cost of living challenge

·         We enable our own public open spaces team to work with parish councils to retain public ownership and accountability over these important public spaces

·         We look to see what more can be done within the planning process to ensure parish councils have greater support in the negotiations with developers around public open space and provide more effective guidance and support.

 

In years to come and as problems build up in these public open spaces, residents of the borough will rightly ask what we did to prevent this scandal. Let us at least play our part in raising it at a national level and trying to address it locally.”

Minutes:

Councillor Lay and Councillor Furlong had given notice of the following motion:

 

“Ending ‘fleeceholding’ in Hinckley & Bosworth.

 

This Council is deeply concerned at the actions of those housebuilders in Hinckley & Bosworth who have decided to hand the management and sometimes ownership of public open spaces to third party private concerns.

 

This Council is appalled that residents are then obliged to pay an annual management fee which can be hundreds of pounds and that this fee can increase without any safeguards or protections or guarantees that services of an acceptable standard will apply.

 

Further, this Council understands that such actions by developers means that millions of pounds of section 106 monies that would have been given to parish councils (who are democratically accountable) to be invested back into local communities is avoided and not paid.

 

Although this practice has been around for some years, it has become almost universal in the last five years and is having numerous negative consequences.

 

The Welsh government published a report on such estate charges and noted that these charges had created two-tier public open spaces with many residents deeply unhappy with the service providers and unhappy at the lack of accountability.

 

Further it was a cause of resentment with access made difficult for non-resident residents on the basis they did not pay for community upkeep.

 

Just as we have seen with the selling of leasehold properties on new estates and the various charges associated, the development industry cannot be trusted to self-regulate itself. The rightly condemned leasehold charges were seen as a disgrace and have been challenged at Westminster. We now need action to curtail and address ‘fleece hold properties’.

 

This motion asks the Council, its officers and its Executive to take positive steps to oppose estate charges. To demonstrate this, we ask that the following recommendation be accepted:

 

·         We raise the matter formally with our local MPs, explaining our grave concerns and ask them to raise these concerns in Parliament

·         We work with other local authorities to campaign effectively to see these practices outlawed or substantially reformed

·         We offer support to residents wishing to legitimately challenge fee increases without rational justification and at a time when many face a cost of living challenge

·         We enable our own public open spaces team to work with parish councils to retain public ownership and accountability over these important public spaces

·         We look to see what more can be done within the planning process to ensure parish councils have greater support in the negotiations with developers around public open space and provide more effective guidance and support.

 

In years to come and as problems build up in these public open spaces, residents of the borough will rightly ask what we did to prevent this scandal. Let us at least play our part in raising it at a national level and trying to address it locally.”

 

Upon being put to the vote, the motion was CARRIED and it was

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)            The matter be raised formally  ...  view the full minutes text for item 132d

132e

Motion proposed by Councillor M Mullaney, seconded by Councillor W Crooks

“This Council notes that the ambulance service both here in Hinckley & Bosworth and nationally is under huge strain and at crisis point.

 

There have been a number of cases locally where elderly and vulnerable people have had to wait many hours for an ambulance to reach them after falls, causing distress to the people concerned and risking making their health conditions even worse.

 

Council further notes how the NHS has been let down under this Conservative government. With 6.7 million people on NHS waiting lists and it’s predicted it could rise to over 10 million by 2024.

 

This Council requests the Chief Executive write to the Secretary of State for Health urging action to deal with the problem including doing more to address factors that are contributing to delays, including staff shortages throughout the health and care services, and calls on the government to require ambulance service providers to report response times by postcode in order to target resource where it’s most urgently needed.

 

It further calls on the Secretary of State to commission the Care Quality Commission to review the ongoing ambulance response times crisis.”

Minutes:

Councillor M Mullaney and Councillor W Crooks had given notice of the following motion:

 

“This Council notes that the ambulance service both here in Hinckley & Bosworth and nationally is under huge strain and at crisis point.

 

There have been a number of cases locally where elderly and vulnerable people have had to wait many hours for an ambulance to reach them after falls, causing distress to the people concerned and risking making their health conditions even worse.

 

Council further notes how the NHS has been let down under this Conservative government. With 6.7 million people on NHS waiting lists and it’s predicted it could rise to over 10 million by 2024.

 

This Council requests the Chief Executive write to the Secretary of State for Health urging action to deal with the problem including doing more to address factors that are contributing to delays, including staff shortages throughout the health and care services, and calls on the government to require ambulance service providers to report response times by postcode in order to target resource where it’s most urgently needed.

 

It further calls on the Secretary of State to commission the Care Quality Commission to review the ongoing ambulance response times crisis.”

 

Councillor Bray, supported by 11 councillors, requested that voting on the motion be recorded. The vote was taken as follows:

 

Councillors Bill, Bray, Cartwright, J Crooks, W Crooks, Findlay, Flemming, Furlong, Gibbens, Glenville, Hodgkins, Hollick, Lay, Lynch, L Mullaney, M Mullaney, Pendlebury, Walker, Webber-Jones, H Williams and P Williams voted FOR the motion (21);

 

Councillors C Allen, R Allen, Cook, Ladkin, Morrell, Roberts and Smith abstained from voting.

 

The motion was therefore declared CARRIED and it was

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)            The Chief Executive be requested to write to the Secretary of State for Health urging action to deal with the problem including doing more to address factors that are contributing to delays, including staff shortages throughout the health and care services, and calls on the government to require ambulance service providers to report response times by postcode in order to target resource where it’s most urgently needed;

 

(ii)          The Council calls on the Secretary of State to commission the Care Quality Commission to review the ongoing ambulance response times crisis.