Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Tuesday, 26th April, 2022 6.30 pm, MOVED

Venue: Parkside, Station Approach, Burton Street, Melton Mowbray LE13 1GH

Contact: Democratic Services 

Note: This meeting has been rescheduled from 17 March to 26 April. 

Media

Items
No. Item

CO70

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Steadman.

CO71

HONORARY ALDERMAN PRESENTATION CEREMONY

The title of Honorary Alderman will be conferred upon Mr Gerald Botterill with the Mayor presenting a scroll. Members will be given an opportunity to comment.

Minutes:

It was decided at the extraordinary meeting of Council on 23 September 2021, that the title of Honorary Alderman would be conferred upon Mr Gerald Botterill, in recognition of his eminent services to the Council of the Borough of Melton from the Civic Year 1983 to 2019.

 

The Mayor invited the Members to pay tribute to Honorary Alderman Gerald Botterill:-

 

Members shared personal memories, commenting:

 

  • The conferring of the title of Honorary Aldermen was to give recognition to a previous Member, who over a period of time had made a significant contribution to the Council and to the community in which they served and Gerald Botterill was such a man.
  • Mr. Botterill served his community as a parish councillor for many years and as a borough councillor for several decades (many Members would remember him for his membership on Planning Committee).
  • Mr. Botterill was a gentleman, not given to shows of flamboyance or self promotion but someone who spoke honestly and did not waste words.
  • As a councillor, Mr. Botterill used his knowledge of farming and together with others, played a major role in the redevelopment of the Cattle Market.  It was this development which kept Melton town and its rural community alive.
  • Mr. Botterill’s farming legacy continued (with the business now managed by his son).  He continued to be a wonderful ambassador worldwide for the borough of Melton and his business continued to bring wealth to the borough.
  • Mr. Botterill was admired, respected and held in great esteem.  He had assisted many Members to understand the intricacies of Planning procedures, with his sound advice.
  • Mr. Botterill was the epitome of a good rural councillor with conservatism and a common-sense approach and as an experienced Member, Mr. Botterill had been an excellent mentor for new councillors.

 

The Mayor presented a scroll to Honorary Alderman Gerald Botterill, in recognition of the Council’s award for his eminent services to the Borough.

 

Alderman Botterill thanked the Council for nominating him for this award.  He had enjoyed his time as a councillor and hoped that Members had the same satisfaction he did from the role.

CO72

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 247 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Council meeting held on 24 February 2022.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 24 February 2022 were confirmed.

 

Councillor Cumbers voted against the Minutes.

CO73

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Members to declare any interest as appropriate in respect of items to be considered at this meeting.

Minutes:

A personal interest in respect of Councillors Orson and Posnett MBE, was noted as being on record for any matters which related to Leicestershire County Council.

 

Councillors Holmes and Orson each declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in relation to Minute Number CO79 (Melton Local Plan 2011-2036 Review), as landowners and would leave the meeting during discussion of this item.

CO74

MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes:

The Mayor:

 

·       congratulated Councillor Siggy Atherton on her election and welcomed her to her first Council meeting

·       updated the Council on events attended by himself and the Mayoress (at Leicester, Beaumanor Hall, the Lord Mayor's Spring Ball, the Rotary Club Charter Dinner and Civic Services at Newark and Stamford)

·       reported that he had started the Mountain Lions’ Swimathon, had reopened the miniature railway at Wilton Park and had presented prizes to winners of the Cycle Classic at the Scouts’ St George’s Day Parade

·       referred to the tree planting at Parkside, with Reverend Kevin Ashby and Melton in Bloom for the Jubilee celebrations

·       advised that he would attend a number of engagements over the coming weeks

·       advised that his son was taking part in a 22 mile swimathon on Sunday 29 April 2022 and invited all those who wished to do so to attend this event, held at Waterfield Leisure Centre.

CO75

LEADER'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes:

The Leader provided the following announcement:

 

‘I want to start by welcoming Councillor Siggy Atherton to her first meeting this evening, following her election at the end of March. Siggy has already made a huge contribution to the people of Melton, through her work at the Storehouse and I genuinely look forward to her contribution to the work of this Council, particularly as we continue to develop support for people struggling through the cost of living crisis.

 

As we all know, the price cap for energy costs rose by 54% in April and with inflation at levels not seen for years, we know people will be struggling.  Our teams have worked extremely hard to pull together a package of support to help people in need and I am delighted that we were one of the first councils in Leicestershire to make the £150 energy rebate payments, with thousands of households already having received their funds and many more to follow.

 

As well as welcoming new colleagues, we must also say farewell to old ones.  Following our motion of gratitude to former Chief Constable Simon Cole at our last meeting, we were all devastated by the tragic news of his untimely passing so soon after his retirement.  Simon was a long-standing colleague and friend.  We often exchanged texts, particularly about Leicester Tigers, Norwich City and Nottingham Forest.  He was passionate about Leicester Tigers, youth rugby and Norwich City and we enjoyed a Norwich City v Nottingham City match together.  I worked closely with him for a number of years.  He was an outstanding public servant and leader and he understood the vital partnership that needs to exist between the police and local councils.  As a council, we continue to honour his memory and offer our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.  An untimely death is always a reminder of what really matters, as are the world events where ordinary people suffer unspeakable horror in the face of war.  Sadly, this is all too common and again our thoughts turned to those in Ukraine who are facing appalling suffering right now.  As a council, we are working with our county and district council colleagues to support the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, undertaking property inspections for sponsor households and supporting Ukrainian guests and sponsor households as they adapt to the changing situation.  We will continue to do to do all we can to help those who are suffering in this terrible situation and I genuinely want to pay tribute to those Members who helped raise over £4k through the recent Charity Race Night.  Congratulations to those who organised the event, to those who enjoyed the event and to those who could not attend but found ways of giving.

 

In other news, the County Council has now submitted their proposal for a level 2 county deal.  As district leaders across Leicestershire, we have made it clear that our preference would be for a superior level 3 deal across the East Midlands.  We  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO75

CO76

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

In accordance with the Constitution, Members of the Council may answer questions from the public of which notice has been given.

 

One question has been received.

Minutes:

In accordance with the Constitution, Members of the Council may answer questions from the public of which notice has been given.

 

The following question was received from Glynn Cartwright:

 

‘Please would you let me know the balance of funds granted to Melton Matters?’

 

The Portfolio Holder for Climate, Access and Engagement provided the following response:

 

‘I have checked the position on the question you have raised and can confirm that the funding allocated by the Town Area Committee in 2017 was not a grant and was not formally allocated to Melton Matters, rather the Council’s records reflect that this was a one off budget to address environmental issues such as dog fouling. I recognise that through discussions with elected Members at the time, the Council wanted to enable Melton Matters to influence how this funding was spent, though sometimes this informal arrangement has led to ambiguity and confusion, which we absolutely need to address now. Over the last 5 years we have spent vastly more than the original funding allocated on environmental matters. This includes providing Melton Matters with equipment and supporting clean ups, as well as installing bins etc. We have also installed a significant amount of signage to support the new Public Spaces Protection Order and have also invested in dedicated environmental enforcement officer resources. On this basis I can confirm that the funding allocated in 2017 has been fully spent and there is no budget remaining.

 

Having said that, I want to reassure you that we remain committed to supporting community groups in Melton and as discussed, recognise the valuable contribution volunteers and community groups make in addressing community issues. We discussed litter picking specifically when we met and I am able to confirm that the Council would be happy to purchase a one off supply of litter picking equipment which could be made available to support groups carrying out litter picking activities. This would be on the basis of the Council purchasing and holding a stock of litter picking equipment, which could be requested as needed, by groups including Melton Matters and Melton Wombles.’

 

Mr. Cartwright asked the following supplementary question:

 

‘In 2017, Melton Matters were awarded £7k and I believe there is still £1.5k left of that money.  Can you tell me what has happened to the £1.5k, which I believe is still available?’

 

The Portfolio Holder for Climate, Access and Engagement provided the following response:

 

‘As addressed in the original statement, the money allocated was not awarded directly to Melton Matters.  There were discussions whereby it was alluded to you that the money was awarded specifically for that group but upon review of the meeting minutes, this was a sum of money for the environmental aspects of Melton and specifically for dog fouling (the main issue at the time).  The money was not meant to be carried forward.  It was supposed to have been spent.  It was carried forward for a number of years and once the amount of money added up for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO76

CO77

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

In accordance with the Constitution, a Member may ask the Leader, the Chair of the Council or a Committee Chair, a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the Borough.

 

One question has been received.

 

Minutes:

In accordance with the requirements of the Constitution, the following question was received from Councillor Lumley:

 

‘Fly tipping across the Borough has increased significantly over the past few years, as an example, in my Ward (Newport Ward).  There was continuous fly tipping on the Algernon Road Car Park and on Scalford Brook.  Recently announced CCTV projects would have been useful on the Algernon Road Car Park (as lobbied on for a number of years).  I have been in contact with the Environment Agency on a regular basis concerning Scalford Brook, asking them to clear fly tips affecting the water course. Can Cabinet consider significantly reducing or make complimentary the bulk waste collection charge on items for a trial period to see if this reduces fly tipping rates.  This has been trialled at other councils across the UK and there have been successful outcomes. This could also successfully reduce our overall high fly tipping collection costs?’

 

The Portfolio Holder for Climate, Access and Engagement provided the following response:

 

‘Our records show that whilst there has been an increase in fly tipping, it has not been a steep increase and fly tipping cases have remained at between 30-40 cases per month.  However, we have seen a change in the type of material that is fly tipped, with a slight increase in builders rubble and DIY materials.  It is believed that this may be due to household waste sites introducing charges for DIY materials (per kg) for disposal.  Government are currently consulting with disposal authorities on the possibility of removing those charges in the future with the aim to reduce fly tipping.

 

We are aware of fly tipping hotspots in the Borough including Algernon Road Car Park, Bentley Street garages and Beckmill Court garages.  Where fly tipping occurs, we work closely with Biffa to ensure it is removed as quickly as possible.  When fly tipping takes place, the Council does try to identify the source and will take enforcement action where possible.

 

In terms of bulky waste collections, the Council provides a collection service to domestic properties for bulky household items that are too big to put in a domestic bin.  This can be arranged via the Customer Services Team, or via the Council’s website.  The fee for collection and disposal of up to five items is £34.28.  There is a separate fee for white goods.  The Council already offers discounted rates to people in receipt of Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support and can advise customers on eligibility for discounted fees on a case by case basis.  Data since January 2021, recorded on the Council’s Customer Services platform shows that on average, we receive 112 bulky waste collection requests per month.  The Council’s website also includes advice on other ways to dispose appropriately of bulky items.

 

As Portfolio Holder, I am not supportive of reducing or cancelling the bulky waste collection fee, as this is an important way in which to offset the costs for collection and disposal.  However, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO77

CO78

MOTIONS ON NOTICE

In accordance with the Constitution, motions on notice must be signed by at least two Members and be about matters for which the Council has a responsibility or which affect the Melton Borough.

 

Reverend Ashby

The following motion was received from Councillor Posnett (Seconded by Councillor Orson).

 

Reverend Kevin Ashby has been the rector of St Mary’s Church since 2009 and has decided to retire, with his last day being 1 May.

 

Kevin has faced a number of challenges during his time in Melton including the biggest renovation of St Mary’s Church in the last two centuries. Kevin had to cope with the Church being closed for a year in 2017 while heating was installed, lighting was upgraded, flooring was levelled, toilets were put in and other features were added for project that cost £2m.

 

Kevin has also faced the challenge of continuing his ministry during the Covid pandemic, delivering services online and maintaining links with the community including with many elderly people who were confined to their homes.

 

Kevin will be remembered for commitment, leadership and enthusiasm and I am sure Members will all join me in wishing him a long and happy retirement.

 

I request that Members join me in supporting the following motion:

 

That the Council recognises and thanks Reverend Kevin Ashby for his service to Melton Mowbray and the prayers he has provided to this Council.

 

John Skerritt

The following motion was received from Councillor Browne (Seconded by Councillor Orson).

 

John Skerritt, former Mayor of Melton, has served as Chairman of the Tenants Forum Executive Committee (TFEC) for over 20 years and has made a huge contribution to improving the councils landlord services as a driving force for giving tenants and leaseholders of Melton Borough Council a voice. Before his involvement with TFEC he was a District Councillor between 1973 and 1999 representing Melton Egerton ward.

 

John stepped down as TFEC chair in February, and whilst TFEC is no longer in place I will ensure that as we move into a new era of engagement and accountability through introduction of the Charter for Social Housing Residents, this Council continues to commit wholeheartedly to tenant and leaseholder engagement and to ensuring our tenants and leaseholders can hold us to account as a landlord, something that John was instrumental in leading and developing.

 

It has been a pleasure to work with John and he will forever stand out as a hugely committed and effective councillor and tenant leader. His public service contribution to the Borough has been immense and he has impacted positively on so many people’s lives.

 

I request that Members join me in supporting the following motion:

 

That Council gives thanks to John Skerritt for the dedication and service he has given to the community for almost 50 years.

 

Safer Communities

The following motion was received from Councillor Fisher (Seconded by Councillor Smith).

 

The safety and wellbeing of our communities should be at the forefront of our minds at all times. Melton is generally a safe  ...  view the full agenda text for item CO78

Minutes:

Reverend Ashby

 

The following motion was proposed by Councillor Posnett and seconded by Councillor Orson.

 

‘It gives me great pleasure to propose this motion to Kevin.

 

Reverend Kevin Ashby has been the Rector of St. Mary's Church since 2009 and has decided to retire, with his last day being the 1 May 2022.  Kevin has faced a number of challenges during his time in Melton, including the biggest renovation of St. Mary's Church in the last two centuries.  Kevin had to cope with the Church being closed for a year in 2017, while heating was installed, lighting was upgraded, flooring was levelled. toilets were put in and other features were added for the project which cost £2m.  Kevin has also faced the challenge of continuing his ministry during the Covid-19 pandemic, delivering services online and maintaining links with the community, including with many elderly people who were confined to their homes.

 

I would like to give my personal thanks to Kevin who has supported me through sad times and happy times.  1 of the highlights of my years as County Chairman was my Civic Service at St. Mary’s Church, following its renovation.  My guests were overwhelmed with the Church.

 

Kevin will be remembered for commitment, leadership and enthusiasm and I am sure Members will join me in wishing him and Alison a long and happy retirement.

 

I request that Members join me in supporting the following motion:

 

That the Council recognises and thanks Reverend Kevin Ashby for his service to Melton Mowbray and the prayers he has provided to this Council.’

 

 

During debate the following comments were made:

 

  • Reverend Ashby had shown considerable commitment to the Melton community during his time as Rector.
  • He has consistently attended Council meetings to offer prayers and this was just 1 example of his dedication.
  • Reverend Ashby was well respected throughout the borough.  He led the Church through a difficult period (considerable renovation works, Covid-19.
  • Members paid tribute to Reverend Ashby for his positive, constructive outlook and sense of humour.
  • Members thanked Reverend Ashby for his work in the community and wished him a happy retirement.

 

RESOLVED

 

Council

 

RECOGNISED and THANKED Reverend Kevin Ashby for his service to Melton Mowbray and the prayers he has provided to this Council.

 

(Unanimous)

 

Reverend Ashby thanked the Council for its support during his time as Rector at St. Mary’s Church, commenting that such support enabled much to be achieved at the Church.

 

John Skerritt

 

The following motion was proposed by Councillor Browne and seconded by Councillor Orson.

 

‘John Skerritt, former Mayor of Melton, has served as Chairman of the Tenants Forum Executive Committee (TFEC) for over 20 years and has made a huge contribution to improving the Council’s landlord services as a driving force for giving tenants and leaseholders of Melton Borough Council a voice. Before his involvement with TFEC he was a District Councillor between 1973 and 1999 representing Melton Egerton ward.

 

John stepped down as TFEC chair in February, and whilst TFEC is no longer  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO78

CO79

MELTON LOCAL PLAN 2011-2036 REVIEW pdf icon PDF 245 KB

The Portfolio Holder for Growth and Prosperity is to present the Melton Local Plan 2011-2036 Review.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors Holmes and Orson left the meeting during discussion of this item.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Growth and Prosperity introduced the report.  Members were advised that the Local Plan was adopted in 2018 and had been a success, enabling the Council to demonstrate an enviable 11.6 years of housing land supply, a strong housing delivery against the targets of the Plan, approximately £160m of investment in highways and education infrastructure, additional New Homes Bonus and the protection of the number of developments in line with the Plan.

 

The Portfolio Holder highlighted that the Council was required to review and update the Plan within five years of adoption to enable it was reactive to changes both locally and nationally (implications of undertaking/not undertaking the review now were detailed at paragraphs 14.2 to 15).  This was an opportunity to revise and improve the Plan by addressing any weaknesses.  To facilitate this, a Member/Officer working group would be formed and convened on a regular basis throughout the life of the revision.  There would be at least 2 consultations as the review progressed and following these, officers would consider representations and if the review should be submitted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate.  A new post of Planning Enforcement Officer would be created to ensure adequate resourcing for proactive enforcement and the revised plan would continue to guide and informed the way current and future needs of our borough were addressed,

 

Councillor de Burle seconded the motion.

 

During the debate the following comments were made:

 

  • Members welcomed the Review, commenting that particular attention should be paid to environmental issues, housing need, appropriate infrastructure and employment opportunities.
  • The new Planning Enforcement Officer post was noted.
  • Members reflected on the successes and weaknesses of the Local Plan.
  • Successes included the excellent performance over the last 3 years, which had provided an 11.6 year housing land supply.  Melton had received an injection of capital towards infrastructure improvements within the town and funding for the Distributor Road
  • Weaknesses included that developers were building too many large properties, rather than much needed affordable and small family homes.  As a planning authority, the Council needed to ensure the houses needed were built.  There was also a lack of infrastructure provision within the rural areas.  Infrastructure should be established prior to building not follow years later, resulting in lack of parking, recreation facilities, medical provision, education, green spaces etc.
  • The revised Plan should be reactive to what had been learned over the last 3 years.
  • The Review was necessary.  The Council had worked hard to maintain its desires standards but it should not be complacent.
  • Parish Councils were concerned that the Review may impact on their Neighbourhood Plans and it was vital that the Council consulted with them and other stakeholders early on in the process to alleviate worries.
  • Affordable housing in rural areas helped to maintain communities.
  • Social housing needed to be considered, to deal with homelessness and high private rental costs.
  • In response to a Member comment, the Monitoring  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO79

CO80

ASSET DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME UPDATE pdf icon PDF 269 KB

The Portfolio Holder for Growth and Prosperity is to present the Asset Development Programme Update.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Growth and Prosperity presented the Asset Development Programme Update, advising Members that the Council had approved Phase 1 of the Asset Development Programme in January 2021.  This report provided an update on the progress to date, set out the refreshed scope and programme of works and sought approval for additional resources and the next steps.

 

The Portfolio Holder highlighted:

 

  • Grant funding from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) was agreed in September 2021, which resulted in a delay in commencing the spend on the approved activities.
  • Work had continued on the disposal of the ground at Cattle Market North, the remit being to maximise the commercial value of the site.
  • The Cattle Market South continued to develop in line with the Masterplan, with the stockyard branding being launched last week etc.
  • Following Council approval to explore options for redevelopment of Phoenix House, discussions concerning the future of the property and its occupants continued.  The Council would also consider alternatives to its sale, such as retention and possible development of the site.
  • The Council would continue to appraise and develop the logistics and design layout of Parkside, with the aim of maximising this and increasing its commercial viability.
  • The Council would continue to explore the use of the Cove Community Centre for relocating community based services from Phoenix House and Parkside.
  • Discussions with key stakeholders continued.
  • Programmes (such as Town Centre Vision, Health and Leisure etc) and submitting key funding opportunities (such as the Levelling Up Fund Phase 2) required staff resource and there was currently a lack of capacity within this area.  These resources needed to increase to ensure that opportunities were maximised etc. as detailed at paragraphs 9.4 and 9.5 of the report.

 

Councillor de Burle seconded the motion.

 

During debate the following comments were made:

 

  • There was still much progress to be made on Council assets.  More information was needed to ensure the assets were being utilised to full potential and identify those for disposal.
  • Additional staff resource would result in additional capacity, enabling officers to deal with this work effectively.
  • Some Members were concerned that the proposed changes to the establishment had not been justified in the report, commenting that it lacked clarity and detail of the work/time needed and why the employment was for a 2 year fixed term period.
  • The Portfolio Holder reiterated that the £76,920k estimated cost for an Assistant Valuer was over two years.  It was important to have appropriate staff resources to undertake the work needed.  This should be viewed as an investment in the future, not only a solution to the current lack of capacity.
  • The Director for Growth and Regeneration drew Members’ attention to paragraph 5.7.3 of the report, which detailed the 3 proposed posts:

i.                 Assistant Asset Valuer (2 years fixed term) to deal with the operational task of financial book valuations, which would ease demand at senior level, enabling focus on the delivery of the Asset Development Programme.

ii.                Legal Officer (1  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO80

CO81

GAMBLING ACT 2005 - STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES 2022-2025 pdf icon PDF 207 KB

The Portfolio Holder for Climate, Access and Engagement is to present the Gambling Act 2005, Statement of Principles.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Climate, Access and Engagement presented the Gambling Act 2005, Statement of Principles.  Members were advised that the Act placed a duty on the Council to develop a Statement of Principles, which promoted 3 licencing objectives (preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, ensuring gambling was conducted in a fair and open way and protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited).  The draft Statement of Principles had been considered by Licencing Committee and approved for public consultation (from December 2021 to February 2022).  There had been 1 response received from the Betting and Gaming Council.  Section 2.1 (General Principles) of the draft Statement of Principles, referred to mandatory and default conditions, addressing the response.  This section also detailed the additions to the premises licences.

 

Councillor Douglas seconded the motion.

 

RESOLVED

 

Council

 

Following public consultation between 2 December 2021 and 10 February 2022, APPROVED the Gambling Act Statement of Principles.

 

(Unanimous)

CO82

REVIEW OF POLITICAL BALANCE AND ALLOCATION OF SEATS TO POLITICAL GROUPS pdf icon PDF 201 KB

The Monitoring Officer is to present the review of political balance and allocation of seats to political groups.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer introduced the review of political balance and allocation of seats to political groups.  In doing so, she highlighted that the summary within the report was inaccurate and should state that the recent by-election did not alter the political balance between the groups. The Council was required to review political balance by legislation. Paragraphs 5.2 of the report highlighted that the allocation of seats had not changed and the tables in paragraphs 5.3 and 5.4 detailed the calculations for political balance. As per the updated Appendix A, circulated to Members and published to the Council’s website, Counsellor Siggy Atherton would take the seats on Audit and Standard and Licencing Committees for the Conservative Group.

 

Councillor Orson moved the motion and Councillor Graham seconded.

 

RESOLVED-

 

Council

 

(1)  APPROVED the political balance calculations;

 

(2)  APPROVED the allocation of seats to Political Groups and NOTED the membership of each Committee.

 

(Unanimous)

Councillor Graham thanked all for the generosity shown towards Melton’s twin town of Sochaczew, Poland and also Horodok, Ukraine at the charity Race Night (£4,158 had been raised to date). He added that he was particularly grateful to the Council’s Facilities Team (Pat Mulligan, Sarah Allen and Becky Butler) who had helped to ensure the evening was a success.