Venue: Council Chamber, The Arc, Clowne
Contact: Nicola Calver Governance Manager
Apologies For Absence
Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Dexter Bullock,
Natalie Hoy, Evonne Parkin, Sandra Peake, Dan Salt and Jenny Wilson.
Declarations of Interest
Members should declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and Non Statutory Interest as defined by the Members’ Code of Conduct in respect of:
a) any business on the agenda
b) any urgent additional items to be considered
c) any matters arising out of those items
and if appropriate, withdraw from the meeting at the relevant time.
There were no declarations made at the meeting.
To receive any announcements that the Chair of the Council may desire to lay before the meeting.
The Chair provided an update to the meeting regarding ex District Councillor, Ken Walker. Members were aware of the shocking events which had taken place on 14th January 2022, which had lead to the death of Ken’s wife, Freda, and serious injuries to Ken. The Chair was pleased to advise that Ken was making a gradual recovery including managing some brief time on his feet around the hospital ward. The Chair requested that the meeting observe one minutes silence in honour of Freda Walker.
The meeting stood for one minutes silence in honour of Freda Walker.
The Chair informed the meeting of the recent passing of Pleasley Parish Council Chair, Councillor Caroline Randall, following a long and difficult battle with cancer. The Leader added that he had known Caroline for a number of years and she was a gentle soul and always eager to do her bit for the community. She had recently been elected Chair of Pleasley Parish Council but was battling with ill health. The Leader noted that the last few years had been difficult for everyone and all of us had been touched with grief and sadness, losing friends and family, and this showed the fragility of life amid an uncertain future – residents had been touched in the same way. It was a time for reflection for everyone.
The Chair thanked Members who were in attendance at the Honorary Alderman presentation, which had taken place at the Van Dyk Hotel in Clowne on Wednesday 1st December 2021, where 7 ex Councillors were awarded Honorary Alderman status.
The Council was committed to the Armed Forces Covenant, which required local authorities to ensure they had appropriate provision within their authority to address the needs of service personnel who had completed their period of service and were making the transition into civilian life. Alongside an officer of the Council, the Chair regularly participated in updates from Veterans UK, and ensured that any issues raised were passed on to the relevant department. The Chair would be happy to advise any Member who encountered any ex-service personnel in their ward who required assistance or support, on how they might assist their constituent.
To approve the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 3rd November 2021.
Moved by Councillor Rita Turner and seconded by Councillor Derek Adams
RESOLVED that the Minutes of a Council meeting held on 3rd November 2021 be approved as a correct record.
Questions from the Public PDF 242 KB
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8, to allow members of the public to ask questions about the Council’s activities for a period of up to thirty minutes. A question may only be asked if notice of twelve clear working days has been given.
a) Question submitted to the Leader of the Council by Mrs D. Dell;
b) Question submitted to the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health and Licensing by Mr R Dell;
c) Question submitted to the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health and Licensing by Mrs A Morgan.
Question submitted to the Leader of the Council by Mrs D. Dell;
I would like to know please, what steps Bolsover District Council intends to take to ensure that their information is more readily accessible to the public and is kept updated so that it is correct?
Within Vision Bolsover, it states:
“Our Priorities: …..Improving customer contact and removing barriers to accessing information”
In particular, that its website is checked regularly for broken and indirect links, and that meeting agendas are published further ahead of the meeting than the deadline for submission of questions.
To explain what I mean by indirect links, if clicking takes you e.g to ‘Bolsover tv’ but not to the episode explaining the Vision Bolsover, and/or you have to scroll down far to see the item you are looking for, this makes it hard or impossible to find.
As regards accessibility, I have also not found any options for varying text size or a readaloud facility although the language choice is excellent.
Response from the Leader, Councillor Steve Fritchley;
Thanks Mrs Dell for your question – it gives me an opportunity to agree more than disagree with what you’re saying. In 2018 I looked at the Council’s website and found it difficult to navigate, so I asked the Communications Team to change it and make it easier to navigate, and because more people use smart phones, I wanted access to be more mobile friendly. The new website was launched in 2019 with a simple A-Z format which I think works a lot better. It did in 2019. Having said that the Council provides 100s of services and functions with information and this is added to the website on a daily basis – so it’s never going to be an easy task to find the information you need straight away. We use a piece of software called Silktide that monitors our website and highlights problems such as broken links, spelling errors or accessibility issues – this program is checked on a weekly basis and any errors highlighted are corrected. I completely agree with Mrs Dell that if you have a link about as specific subject, then that link should take you straight to that information – not a generic page where you have to go hunting for the information you require. Ive spoken to the Communications Manager and asked them to make sure all links are directed to the specific page mentioned. Moving on to Mrs Dell’s points about accessibility, the internet has progressed massively since its inception 30 years ago and especially over the past decade. I’ve been advised that varying the text size on the website can now be done simply by pressing control and plus or minus repeatedly. We used to pay for a specific readaloud platform but no one was using it or downloading it so we stopped it and stopped paying for it. However, today there are free browsers and apps available such as Voice dream reader, Speechify that will do ... view the full minutes text for item CL68-21/22
Questions from Members PDF 5 KB
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9, to allow Members to ask questions about Council activities. A question may only be asked if notice of twelve clear working days has been given.
a) Question submitted by Councillor Tom Kirkham
b) Question submitted by Councillor Peter Roberts
Question submitted by Councillor Peter Roberts to the Leader of the Council;
The meeting was advised that since the publication of the agenda, Councillor Peter Roberts had withdrawn his question to the Leader of the Council as a response in writing had been provided to him.
Question submitted by Councillor Tom Kirkham to the Leader of the Council;
As a Pleasley Parish Councillor, Councillor Kirkham firstly spoke about Caroline Randall - She was the first female chair that we had at the council and shortly after being elected she found out she was ill – she fought the illness with bravery and courage – she was somebody who would go out of their way to do anything for anybody and she raised money during her illness and continued to attend meetings and she will be missed.
My question is regarding sale of land in Glapwell –
Last summer the sale of land at the top of Park Ave in Glapwell raised around a quarter of a million pounds for Bolsover District Council. What has this money been spent on?
Response from the Leader of the Council;
Yes it’s a serious question and obviously were looking at what benefits are going to accrue and this is the point of the question – well the proceeds of the sale, like any other capital receipt, goes to the General Fund in support of the future capital programme. As regards benefits, I’m going to ask Duncan here because a lot of these benefits that will accrue to Glapwell are enshrined in the planning permission and the development itself. So with your permission Chair, I will invite the Deputy Leader, Duncan McGregor to comment on the planning benefits.
Councillor Duncan McGregor;
Thank you Chair, Councillor McGregor, Member on the Planning Committee when the decision was made as well. But to be helpful, the benefits that would be derived eventually is as following. Under the section 106 agreement that was agreed on that planning application: Affordable housing - 10% would be on dwellings, Public open space would accrue 0.25hectare per dwelling for open space, plus children’s play facilities, £136 per dwelling will be allocated towards children’s play facilities in that area, percent for art is 1% of art or overall development cost to provide a piece of art work on site. Off site, sports facilities contribution is £995 per dwelling towards sports development in the Glapwell area. Education is £227,996.01k towards the Bolsover School which is for the older children from that area, and the travel plan is £3,750k for monitoring the process of these particular section 106 agreements. I thought this would be interesting for Councillors to know Chair, and hopefully that will help Councillor Kirkham and the residents of Glapwell to understand that there are benefits derived from that particular decision.
Supplementary Question form Councillor Kirkham;
Thank you – so the 106 money as we all know is further on down the line when the houses are built it could be 10/20 years when ... view the full minutes text for item CL69-21/22
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10, to consider motions on notice from Members.
No motions had been submitted for consideration.
Revocation of Air Quality Management Areas PDF 477 KB
Report of the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health and Licensing.
Council considered a report which proposed to make Orders under the Environment Act 1995 to revoke the South Normanton and Barlborough Air Quality Management Areas.
Between 2001 and 2007, three AQMA’s were declared due to high levels of Nitrogen Dioxide in the air outside a small number of residential properties and levels which were well above the national Air Quality Objectives of 40 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre). These AQMA’s were known as Barlborough No1, Barlborough No2, and South Normanton.
The Council and partners had used a mixture of local planning policy and road network management to compliment changes to vehicle technology to assist in reducing pollution levels in these areas, and there had been significant reductions over the last 7 years in pollution levels, with the annual mean being well below the 40 µg/m3 limit. These reductions were also showing a continual annual reduction.
The Council’s monitoring data for all the AQMA’s had been independently verified and subject to critical review by an independent consultancy as shown in appendix 2 and 3 to the report. It should be noted that the data on which the reductions had been based, originated from before the Coronavirus pandemic reduced traffic volumes.
A statutory public consultation took place for a 12 week period for each AQMA on whether they should be revoked. The Barlborough AQMA’s were subject to a consultation in 2019, and the South Normanton consultation took place in March 2021. Responses to the consultations could be found in Appendix 4 to the report.
While concerns were raised about the cessation of monitoring and the risks future development may bring in Barlborough, there were no responses indicating a need to continue with any of the AQMA’s.
The report noted that monitoring at these locations would continue, although at a reduced capacity to allow for other locations of concern to be monitored, so that the Council could continue to measure the air quality in the areas and consider future actions based on those results.
Councillor Andrew Joesbury noted that although the pollution rate had reduced at South Normanton, it was still higher than the rate at which Barlborough had started out at in 2013. He requested that a letter be sent to the MP and also Highways England urging that the improvement works at Junction 28, be expedited as soon as possible.
Councillor Tom Kirkham queried if there were any future plans to put monitoring points in around areas such as schools.
The Service Manager (Commercial & Environment), advised the meeting that the air quality management area monitoring stations were not necessarily in relation to the motorway – they were with regard to the local areas and small streets outside residential properties. So the intention of the monitoring was solely about the impact of air quality on residential properties and people in the local area. The M1 was not part of the monitoring network.
Moved by Councillor Deborah Watson and seconded by Councillor Ray Heffer
RESOLVED that (1) the significant improvements ... view the full minutes text for item CL71-21/22
Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23 to 2025/26 PDF 625 KB
Report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance.
Council’s approval was sought for the proposed budget for 2022/23 for the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme as part of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan covering the years 2022/23 to 2025/26.
The detailed report also provided an overview of the Council’s financial position in order to inform the decision making process.
In particular financial projections were provided for:
· 2021/22 Current Budget Position – this was the current year budget, revised to take account of changes during the financial year that would end on 31st March 2022.
· 2022/23 Original Budget – this was the proposed budget for the next financial year, on which the Council Tax would be based, and would commence from 1st April 2022.
· 2022/23 Original Budget, this included proposed increases to rents and fees and charges for the next financial year for the Housing Revenue Account.
· 2023/24 to 2025/26 Financial Plan – In accordance with good practice the Council agreed its annual budgets within the context of a Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP). This included financial projections in respect of the next three financial years.
The report and appendices had been considered by Audit and Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 20th January 2022, and by the Executive at its meeting on 31st January 2022.
Councillor Peter Roberts queried why rents and heating charges were being raised for tenants when the Housing Revenue Account showed a £2.2m surplus, and there was a current cost of living crisis with food, fuel and energy, inflation and national insurance all rising.
The Portfolio Holder for Finance advised the meeting that in September 2021 CPI was at 3.1% and the Council had an obligation to increase its costs by the CPI figure plus 1%. The Council had no control over energy companies increasing their costs.
The Section 151 Officer added that rents and heating charges needed to be increased to ensure the Council’s 30 year Housing Business Plan continued to be sustainable. If the Council did not pass its costs on, the £2.2m would soon be depleted. She added that the 2% proposed in the report for 2022/23 was an estimated figure.
Councillor Roberts proposed an amendment to the recommendation in the report that a freeze be put on the 4.1% increases on rent and heat.
Moved by Councillor Peter Roberts and seconded by Councillor Ross Walker.
That a freeze be put on the 4.1% increases on rent and heat.
On being put to the vote, the motion was lost.
Councillor Ross Walker queried that the revised budget 2021/22 showed Dragonfly Joint Venture shares at £519k and Dragonfly Joint Venture Loan at £1.7m and a total of £2.2m, however, in the original forecast programme it was down to zero.
The Section 151 Officer advised that a £2.2m loan had been approved for Dragonfly in 2021/22 but the facility had not yet been drawn down thus no figures were shown for 2022/23.
The Chair reminded Members that a recorded vote would be taken ... view the full minutes text for item CL72-21/22
Treasury Strategy Reports 2022/23 - 2025/26 PDF 410 KB
Report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance.
Council considered a detailed report which provided Members with the necessary information to approve the Authority’s suite of Treasury Strategies for 2022/23 to 2025/26.
The report and appendices had been considered by Audit and Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 20th January 2022.
As in previous years, the Authority’s Treasury Management Strategy provided the framework for managing the Authority’s cash flows, borrowing and investments, and the associated risks for the years 2022/23 to 2025/26. The Treasury Management Strategy set out the parameters for all borrowing and lending as well as listing all approved borrowing and investment sources. Prudential indicators aimed at monitoring risk were also included.
The Capital Strategy was intended to be a high level, concise overview of how capital expenditure, capital financing and treasury management activity contributed to the provision of the Authority’s services. The report also provided an overview of the associated risk, its management and the implications for future financial sustainability. The Capital Strategy set out the capital expenditure plans for the period and how they would be financed. It also provided information of the minimum revenue provision, capital financing requirement and prudential indicators aimed at monitoring risk.
The Corporate Investment Strategy focused on investments made for service purposes and commercial reasons, rather than those made for treasury management. Investments covered by this strategy included earning investment income through commercial investments or by supporting local services by lending to or buying shares in other organisations.
Councillor Peter Roberts raised a query in relation to how the Council invested its money, in particular around the bail-in and bail-out of banks. The Section 151 Officer advised the meeting that criteria for the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy was carried out by Arlingclose, the Council’s Treasury Management Advisors, and the Council only invested where ratings were very low risk. The bail-in or bail-out of banks and institutions had no part in the decision of where the Council invested.
Moved by Councillor Clive Moesby and seconded by Councillor Duncan McGregor
RESOLVED that (1) the Treasury Management Strategy at Appendix 1 to the report be approved and in particular;
a) the Borrowing Strategy
b) the Treasury Management Investment Strategy
c) the use of the external treasury management advisors Counterparty Weekly List – or similar – to determine the latest assessment of the counterparties that meet the Authority’s Criteria before any investment is undertaken
d) Approve the Prudential Indicators.
(2) the Capital Strategy as set out in Appendix 2 to the report be approved and in particular:
a) the Capital Financing Requirement.
b) the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2022/23.
c) the Prudential Indicators for 2022/23 detailed in the Capital Strategy, in particular:
Authorised Borrowing Limit £127.888m
Operational Boundary £122.888m
Capital Financing Requirement £117.888m
(3) the Corporate Investment Strategy as set out in Appendix 3 to the report be approved.
(Section 151 Officer)
Sex Establishment Policy PDF 301 KB
Report of the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health and Licensing.
Council’s approval was sought to adopt relevant legislation and a final draft Sex Establishment Policy, which would give the Authority the power to control the number and location of sex establishments in the District.
Under Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (the 1982 Act) and section 27 of the Crime and Policing Act 2009 (the 2009 Act) the Council could adopt legislation and policies which gave them the power to control the number and location of sex establishments in its area.
Following consideration of a draft Sex Establishment policy by the General Licensing Committee, a 13 week public consultation opened with partners, stakeholders and the public. This consultation took place between 1st March 2021 and 28th May 2021.
A full evaluation of the responses was carried out and along with the subsequent amended draft policy, were considered by the General Licensing Committee on 7th October 2021.
Licensing Committee Members had noted that whilst the responses to the consultation showed an overwhelming objection to sex establishments being established within the District, the adoption of the legislation and the final draft policy were necessary to ensure the Council had sufficient powers to regulate such premises.
In line with the final draft policy a Local Area Profile had been prepared and would be published on the Council’s website together with the policy. A copy of the Local Area Profile was attached to the report.
Moved by Councillor Deborah Watson and seconded by Councillor Ray Heffer
RESOLVED that (1) the Council adopts Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (as amended) and the associated statutory notices be published,
(2) the final draft Sex Establishment Policy be adopted.
(Assistant Director of Environmental Health)
Auditor's Annual Report 2020/21 PDF 390 KB
Report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance.
Council considered a report in relation to the Auditor’s Annual Report in respect of 2020/21. The report had been prepared by MAZARS, the Council’s External Auditors.
The Annual Report had been considered by the Audit and Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee at its meeting held on 20th January 2022 and was also available on the Council’s website.
Moved by Councillor Clive Moesby and seconded by Councillor Tom Munro
RESOLVED that the Annual Report be noted.
The Solicitor left the meeting at this point.
Role of the Returning Officer and Interim Role of Monitoring Officer PDF 297 KB
Report of the Leader of the Council.
Council considered a report in relation to provision for the appointment of a new Returning Officer for the Council and for interim arrangements for the Monitoring Officer.
As Members were aware, the Council was recruiting a new Assistant Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer. This post holder was currently also the Council’s Returning Officer.
It was necessary for the Council to have a Returning Officer to handle all elections (both planned and unplanned) and an Electoral Registration Officer to deal with electoral registration and the annual publication of Electoral Registers together with the rolling register. These posts were usually held by the same officer.
The Council already had in place an Elections Team led by an Electoral Services Manager. The Electoral Services Manager would still report to and be managed by the Assistant Director Governance and Monitoring Officer (when appointed). However, it was proposed that the role of Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer be held by the Executive Director of Strategy and Development - this officer had the seniority and experience to carry out the role.
If approved, the change would come into force on the 5th February 2022.
The appointment would be referred to the next Standards Committee as a change to the Delegation Scheme in the Council’s Constitution. This would enable all the relevant changes to be made in the Delegation Scheme. However, this would not affect the change occurring on the 5th February 2022.
With regard to the Monitoring Officer role, the current post holder was due to leave the Authority on 5th February 2022. The Post Holder’s management responsibilities could be picked up on a temporary basis by the Executive Director of Strategy and Development. However, the Monitoring Officer was a statutory role and there must be no gap in the appointment. It was therefore necessary to appoint a temporary Monitoring Officer until the new Post Holder was in place.
It was proposed that this statutory role be given to the Team Leader, Non contentious, Jim Fieldsend, from 5th February 2022, until Council appointed a new Monitoring Officer.
Moved by Councillor Steve Fritchley and seconded by Councillor Duncan McGregor
RESOLVED that the Executive Director of Strategy and Development be appointed as Returning Officer and Electoral Services Manager for the Council, and that the changes to the Delegation Scheme be recommended to Standards Committee for inclusion in the Council’s Constitution,
(2) Jim Fieldsend be appointed as Interim Monitoring Officer from 5th February 2022 until the Council appoints a permanent Monitoring Officer.
The Leader congratulated Sarah Sternberg and wished her well in her new role. He added that Sarah had been the Solicitor to the Council for many years and he thanked her for all her hard work.
Councillor Ross Walker stated that he wished to personally thank Sarah for all the help she had given to him.
The Chair also thanked Sarah for all her hard work and dedication to the Authority.
Council was advised that the following item, Councillor Dispensation, ... view the full minutes text for item CL76-21/22
To consider the application from a Member for dispensation from the S.85 rule of attending meetings.
(Paragraphs 1,2 and 3)
This item had been withdrawn from the agenda.
Chairman's Closing Remarks
The Chair noted that on Saturday 26th March, he would be holding a Coffee Morning at Whitwell Community Centre between 9:30am and 11am to raise funds for his appeal which was Ashgate Hospice Care. All Members were invited to attend and kindly contribute any raffle prizes they could. The Chair also wished to encourage Members to visit his JustGiving site, details of which would be circulated to all Members, and to make whatever donation they could for Ashgate Hospice.