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Council Minutes    

Date: Tuesday 29 June 2021       Time: 06:00 PM       Location: Civic Centre        Contact:

Attendance Details

Present:Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams, Councillor Barry Answer, Councillor Mick Barton, Councillor Stephen Bodle, Councillor Marion Bradshaw, Councillor Andrew Burgin, Councillor Terry Clay, Councillor John Coxhead, Councillor Robert Elliman, Councillor Amanda Fisher, Councillor Mark Fretwell, Councillor Brian Lohan, Councillor Ann Norman, Councillor Daniel Redfern, Councillor Stuart Richardson, Councillor Dave Saunders, Councillor Andy Sissons, Councillor John Smart, Councillor David M Smith, Councillor June Stendall, Councillor Roger Sutcliffe, Councillor Sue Swinscoe, Councillor Andrew Tristram, Councillor Stuart Wallace, Councillor Sonya Ward, Councillor Craig Whitby, Councillor Martin Wright
In AttendanceAttendees
In Attendance:Hayley Barsby, Sarah Hall, Mark Pemberton and Julie Grainger
ItemDescriptionBackground InformationDecision

Councillors Anderson, Barlow, Birchall, Drewett, Garner, Hanstock, Hopewell, Shields, Walker and Wetton.

Councillors Barton and Lohan declared an interest in Item 11 relating to Motions as they were both in receipt of a miners pension.

It was proposed by Councillor Burgin and seconded by Councillor Barton that the Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 March, be confirmed as a correct record.

RESOLVED - That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 March, 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.

It was proposed by Councillor Smart and seconded by Councillor Tristram that the Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 25 May, 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.

RESOLVED - That the Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 25 May, 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.

There was no correspondence to report.


Mayor Abrahams, you are in receipt of an allowance of £54,863 per annum for your role as the Executive Mayor of this District (notwithstanding any tax deductible charitable donations), a full time role carrying with it much responsibility to all of the residents north, south, east and west across Mansfield, Mansfield Woodhouse and Warsop. You chose to stand for a position on the County Council representing South Mansfield which carried a further allowance of £14,613 (2019/20). Being a County Councillor brings with it a further mountain of responsibility and of course time. Since defeat at the election you have been vocal in your condemnation of our MP taking up multiple roles and the associated allowances suggesting it would be the people of Mansfield, Mansfield Woodhouse and Warsop who would suffer. Please explain how you intended to commit the full time hours and responsibilities to the entire District of Mansfield, as is your responsibility as our Executive Mayor, whilst also committing to the full time responsibility to the people of South Mansfield exclusively, should they have chosen to elect you as their representative at the County Council. In short, the people of Mansfield elected you to be the full time Executive Mayor of our Town in its entirety and not dilute that role by taking on significant responsibilities in just one area of our District. This does, if I may be so bold sir, smack very much of ‘pot calling kettle’.

Response from Executive Mayor

Thank you for your question Mr. Killick, but firstly I must correct you on the inaccurate information set out in your question that mis-represents the facts to give a biased perception to make your point. In our full Council meeting in March, all members of this Council agreed to take a 10% cut in allowances in order to assist balancing the budget this year, which has come under even more pressure due to a £5 million shortfall in income due to the consequences of Covid crisis and the Government not keeping to its promise to do everything it can to support local government through the pandemic.

So my official allowance is £49,377 not the £54,000 you quoted, however, you conveniently omitted to mention that I donate 30% of my salary to voluntary organisations and clubs in our communities to the Mayor's 500 scheme, which i set up as my first priority when I came into office which has resulted in £17,878, so far being donated to worthwhile causes.

In another totally false part of your question you state that I have been vocal in condemnation of our local MP taking up multiple roles when I haven't personally made any comments whatsoever. I think the press release you are referring to came from other Labour MP's and County Councillor leaders who quite rightly challenged how our MP can be a local County Councillor in Mansfield North and Mansfield Woodhouse, which involves being close to and available at a community level, to represent and fight for the interests of Mansfield in Parliament as an MP, but also set out the strategy and policy direction for the 850,000 residents of Nottinghamshire. By his own admission in 2017 he resigned from Ashfield District Council and was quoted as saying 'there are only so many hours in the day'. No-one before has ever undertaken two such substantial positions.

It is also difficult to reconcile his position of protecting services we desperately need to improve the lives of our communities in Mansfield whilst consistently voting to reduce central funding to local government. I also note quite rightly your concern for the public purse, so I assume you will be equally challenging our MP on his combined £130,000 salary and previous expenses of over £200,000 per annum which at £330,000 I am sure everyone will agree is quite a significant sum.

With respect to your question with how I would carry out the role of County Councillor for Mansfield South and Executive Mayor, I have set this out on numerous election leaflets, in the Chad, on the radio and whilst out canvassing. If you want me to go over those reasons again I will do quite gladly.

Supplementary question to Executive Mayor from Mr. Killick

Again it is just wriggled with anti-Tory rhetoric and I am all about the betterment of the district, now I would like you to explain to me, given that the Councillors in here this evening in receipt for their remuneration are expected generally by the public to fulfil a work output of 10, 12, 15 hours a week and given that the allowance for County is £12,500, I think it is fair for us to expect that County Councillors would give up 30 hours per week – how does that fit with your 40-50 hours as Mayor.

Response from Executive Mayor to Mr. Killick

First of all you mentioned political rhetoric, if you hadn’t put this question in such a political way in the first place I wouldn’t have to respond in such a political manner, so it’s the way you put the question. I have not gone out and registered with the public at any time about the MP's remuneration; it’s the way you put the question that’s made the answer come in that way.

What I would say is and I have said it out previously, there are decisions taken at County Hall on education, social care, health, waste and recycling, highways and transportation, that affect the residents of Mansfield that I have no direct influence on. In order to accommodate and fulfil our manifesto pledges, it makes sense that when these matters cross my desk anyway, that I am able to influence in a way that is for the benefit of Mansfield residents.

My aim, if I got the role, was to communicate to the electorate that their lives would improve if they had a representative fighting for them at County Hall. Covid 19 has brought many inequalities to society, especially to those who are the most vulnerable in society. So that was the main aspects regarding social care, education and other things that fitted nicely into my role and I felt confident I could carry out both roles for the benefit of the people of Mansfield.


This is my second question. I can ask no more. Questions from members of the public to Councillors and yourself in the public domain of Full Council have been restricted. With this in mind, when the Council Monitoring Officer put forward a proposal to the then Governance and Ethics Committee, and ultimately the Full Council, to restrict the number of questions members of the public can ask at meetings of Full Council, you voted in favour of said restriction. Why did you support a change to the Constitution that restricts engagement from residents of our Town with you and other Councillors at any of the very few Full Council meetings held each year, where answers are in the public domain as opposed to responses privately to individuals (public accountability), what does this say to the people of Mansfield regarding transparency, accountability and democracy in the District and what exactly since that meeting have you actioned to proactively approach and engage members of the public to interact with this Council and question its operation at these meetings?

Response from the Executive Mayor -

Thank you for your question Mr Killick, though I have to say this appears to be very similar to previous questions asked to my colleagues here. As you have previously been informed there are numerous ways in which to engage with the Council such as tenant roadshows, consultation events, information requests, social media questions, contacting a local ward member or myself, petitions and non-elected member appointments.

My colleagues in answering your previous questions have encouraged members of the public with a query, not to delay in asking questions by waiting for one of the 6 or 7 council meetings a year, but instead to get in touch with their local councillor.

I know that many of the Councillors here have seen an increase in contact from their constituents over the last 18 months. Lots of questions are asked via social media both to the Council and Members and the provision of responses in this open forum aids transparency and accountability as well as providing a faster response than waiting weeks for a Council meeting. Like my fellow members I too have seen an increase in contact from members of the public and businesses.

Whilst I think it important that questions can be asked at Council meetings, I think it more important that the public know how to get involved with the Council to help shape its strategies and plans. Personally, I am regularly in the District meeting with individuals and businesses. I encourage dialogue between the Council and the public. I listen to people, answer questions and I champion what is happening at the Council and how to get involved in forums such as D2N2 meetings, Chamber of Commerce events and the Council’s Developer Forum.

Supplementary question to Executive Mayor from Mr. Killick

Again it is wholly inadequate, you are not answering the question. At the meeting 21 May, 2019, which I believe was your first as the incumbent Mayor, you stated that it was important for Council to have an extra meeting, to provide a further opportunity for elected members to be held to account. Now we know that you have already missed one of these meetings when you were at the Labour Party Conference, so that made that largely pointless. Can you not see the hypocrisy Sir that you’re talking about accountability, that you have these meetings, is not about accountability? This is being broadcast on Facebook and I really want more people of Mansfield to become engaged but I’m not convinced that you do. Do you not see the hypocrisy in your response?

Response from Executive Mayor to Mr. Killick

I think what you want to do it listen to the response, it’s the same response that’s been outlined, I think there’s at least eight or nine different methods where people can continually engage with the Council on specific issues that affect them in their daily lives and they can also come to Council as well. So I think that it has been set out in sufficient detail and there are many opportunities and I am always open to questions and to be contacted and once we are fully out into the recovery, I will be carrying out more opportunities to get in touch if they have got any concerns.


Question for the Elected Mayor from Councillor Answer

Can you please tell me how many Council Homes have your administration built or started to build since you became Mayor in 2019. Not counting your plans to build homes or the 10 homes on Rosemary Avenue that were started under the Independent Administration.

Response from the Executive Mayor

At this point no new homes have been built or commenced.
However I can advise you that the development of four new homes at Saundby Avenue will commence on 12 July 2021. The development of 77 new homes at Centenary Road and 22 new homes at Bellamy Road are programmed to commence at the end of the calendar year. The planning applications for these two significant developments are currently being considered. The four new apartments to be developed at Fritchley Court is schedule for the 2022/23 financial year, but is subject to obtaining planning permission.

To achieve our aspirations to make a practical contribution towards addressing the Climate Emergency, the Council have had to navigate a changing landscape with regard to the energy efficiency and carbon footprint of the new homes it is building and our design team at Mansfield are leading the way in the county for the future homes standard, new technologies and the passivhaus development will be the first example of this innovative approach.

Increasing the standards around energy efficiency and considering climate change mitigation has contributed to the time it has taken to get the schemes designed and into Planning, researching the different standards prior to starting any work on the schemes and bringing them forward for approval.

The financial uncertainty surrounding certain investments and the loss of income from investments made by previous Administration during the Covid pandemic has led to a delay to ensure the funding was available. The budgets for Bellamy and Centenary developments were approved on 27 January 2021. At this point the Council could then commence the procurement of consultants to be part of the wider design team. The procurement process takes several weeks and in particular with Centenary, there were several qualified quotes that came back which added to the time to resolve the queries to make them compliant quotes and then appoint the consultants.

Private Housing – 2019-20 – 402 houses, 2020-21 – 458 houses Independents Record. 2018/19 – 65 Units; 2017/18 – 0; 2016/17 – 98; 2015/16 – 19; 2011/2015 – 44 (these started in 2010)

Supplementary Question from Councillor Answer

So for the people who voted Labour, the results of that is no building of Council properties over the last two years, despite the fact that during that period when the Mansfield Independents were the Administration we kept saying “build more homes, build more homes” so I’m disappointed with that.
Do you think then Mr. Mayor that by the end of your term the Council will have built a lot more houses and have you any idea how many?

Response from Executive Mayor to Councillor Answer

Yes, first of all I would like to point out that the Independents seem to have a very short memory about the consequences of the Covid crisis. Working in bubbles and the new working policies. Our officers have had to carry out so many different roles in so many different ways over this period and we are just now starting to come out of recovery. The consequences of working in bubbles, the remote working, carrying out all the humanitarian work they have done, including grants for business, the Council has only got so much resources and therefore that is a contributory factor. I feel confident that the Council will be able to catch up on the programme and as I have said it is hoped before the end of this year to have 99 new homes plus the 4 out for tender and hopefully starting on site.

Question for the Elected Mayor from Councillor Answer

How many council homes were occupied in May 2019 and at the present time.

How many homes have we lost with the right to buy since May 2019.

Response from Executive Mayor

Council property tenancies at the end of May 2019 totalled 6376. As at 18th June 2021 tenancies total 6148, this reduction in tenancies is partly due to the sale of homes through right to buy (63 homes since May 2019) as well as the reduction of available tenancies where homes were void as a result of fire upgrade and refurbishment works to sheltered schemes and flats, of which there are currently 41.

Supplementary question from Councillor Answer

As from the last question there have been no houses built, the fact that the Council is 228 properties down, including the 63 that have gone on the Right to Buy, so the residents of Mansfield have now got under Labour 228 less homes to rent to the local community. Do you think Mr. Mayor that that is satisfactory?

Response from Executive Mayor to Councillor Answer

Once again I am really disappointed that you take this opportunity, when we are not even out of recovery with all the additional services that the officers have had to contend with through this period, to point out that the Council is a little bit behind. I am going to cover it really, it moves on, it’s the same idea with the void and empty properties so whilst we compare the voids between May 2019, because that is the next question about the voids, we must do through the lens of the global pandemic as the Council finds itself in a far more challenging environment in comparison.

The Council and the Housing sector in general has experienced significant impact on turnaround as a result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. At the start of the global pandemic, all non-urgent repairs and works to properties ceased for several months with all but the most urgent house moves having to cease. As lockdown restrictions eased, the Council prioritised employee and resident safety and in line with Covid safe work practices, minimised the number of operatives working in properties. Throughout this period repairs staff were also diverted to essential areas of work to ensure the delivery of humanitarian services, food deliveries to shielding residents, safety and welfare checks of vulnerable people, delivery of medication to hospital and community patients and also supporting the Council’s waste services. So it is the same point, that the Council's got limited resources because of the pandemic, it’s unrealistic, to expect things to carry on as normal.

Question for the Elected Mayor from Councillor Answer

How many void empty properties (homes) did we have in May 2019 and how many do we have at the moment including waiting repair.

Response from Executive Mayor

1.4.2020 16 properties ready to let 85 under repair
1.4.2021 19 properties ready to let 183 under repair

Supplementary question from Councillor Answer

I support a lot of things that you have said and I support our workforce all the way, but people are building properties in and around Mansfield all the time, they’ve not stopped and it is quite easy, I understand the Covid situation, we’ve all gone through it and are still going through it, but we are going to have to learn to live with it and we have to produce things whilst it is on so my question once again is we’ve gone from 85 houses waiting for repair to 183. It is ok sat here Mayor saying we’ve got this and we’ve got that but the people out there want a home, vulnerable people that need a home, they need somewhere to live, they are on the waiting list and I've had communication saying that waiting lists are a problem – what is the catch up programme now and how long do you think this is going to be?

Response from Executive Mayor to Councillor Answer’s Supplementary question

Just one point with regard to you saying, this pandemic has affected outside contractors as well, because a lot of our work is delivered by external contractors, that includes the kitchens, bathrooms, roofing, damp proofing, fire upgrades, were delayed and put on hold by contractors furloughing their staff, so it has had an affect out there for everybody as you would expect. Even now, some of the contactors are still furloughing staff and there is a shortfall in building materials from merchants and suppliers because what we’ve got is a famine or a feast situation and that’s going to reflect in prices as well.

The Council are currently carrying a programme of fire upgrades and refurbishment work to the sheltered schemes and blocks of flats as part of our compliance programme, so that’s another demand on the resources, so there’s currently 41 properties that are being upgraded and held as de-camp properties for vulnerable tenants to be re-housed temporarily.

So I agree with you, I like all of us here, want to deliver affordable housing for the residents of Mansfield, on the more optimistic side I believe that we have got a lot of interest and investment in Mansfield at the moment. We would have been helped I believe should the Government have supported our Future High Street funding, which had a big element of revitalising the town centre by bringing housing developments into the town centre. We’ve not given up on that, we are looking at ways to fund that and I, like yourself, want to see as many affordable houses built for the residents of Mansfield but once again I have to point out this has been the most extraordinary of 18 months and I think that comparable benchmarks to times before this pandemic are very difficult and a bit unfair.

Question to the Elected Mayor from Councillor Barton

Could you tell me if you are for or against a single Unitary Council in Nottinghamshire?

Response from Executive Mayor -

Well seeing as I have done quite long answers so far, I will just say I am definitely against a Unitary Council in Nottinghamshire.

Supplementary question from Councillor Barton

If that’s the case, in your negotiations before the Annual Council this year and two years ago, why, instead of looking to us, as we are the equal largest Group, or some of the other Independent members, why did you choose to do, I’ll call it a negotiation, with Councillors Sissons and Garner, when they have twice voted to get rid of the Council, they are in full support of a Unitary Council, they want to get rid of Mansfield District Council.

Response from Executive Mayor to Councillor Barton’s supplementary question

Well, what I would say is, I was brand new in my role, I would say that I didn’t know many people from the Mansfield Independent Forum and you had obviously been in power for a considerable amount of time, so in that respect you were the natural opposition, There was even numbers on the Labour Group and I suppose like in most democratic forums, what I would call the Independents, held the balance of power and so the negotiations and discussions really were based around that and not an in-depth analysis of that time with regard to the Unitary Council which really became more of an issue during my first year of office. At that time obviously I took on the local MP, challenged and put forward my, very strongly view that I was against the formation of the unitary, including writing to the Government which helped get that shelved for the time being.

Councillor Barton – point of clarification Chair, I did ask … thank you for that, that was a good answer for two years ago, but you chose them again at the Annual Council last month, that’s what I asked.

The Monitoring Officer explained that the question was irrelevant to the matter of the district as any confidential negotiations or discussions the Mayor may have had with other members was not relevant to this meeting.

Councillor Sissons clarified that he and Councillor Garner did not vote for a single unitary authority, they voted for County Council officers to look at the business cases for various options for local government re-organisation. It seemed that some form of re-organisation was necessary as grants from government were drying up, so that’s what we voted for – business cases for various options which would have led to further consultation with the public before any decision was made on a single unitary authority, that is not what we voted for.

Question to the Elected Mayor from Councillor Elliman

Does the mayor consider the following Council housing developments value for money?

Saundby Avenue - a development of 4 houses at a total budget cost of £758k (plus council owned land which has a value). This equates to an average cost per unit of £189k plus the land value

Poppy Fields development at Centenary Road - a development of 77 houses at a total budget cost of £14.8m. This equates to an average cost per unit of £192k plus the land value.

Egmanton Road on the Bellamy estate a development of 22 houses at a total budget cost of £5.7m. This equates to an average cost per unit of £259k plus the land value

On average each of these houses/flats is costing the council £206k plus whatever the land is worth.

Many Thanks for your time Mayor

Response from the Executive Mayor

Thank you for your question Councillor Elliman.

The answer to your question is a definite yes because we are serious about our election promise to deliver a Green, Clean Affordable Housing for Mansfield. We are so pleased that we are the forward thinking Administration that is planning and designing for future generations considering the big issues, such as doing something practical to address the Climate Emergency, building houses that our communities can afford and addressing Fuel Poverty.

To comprehend what is ‘value for money’, you need to understand what the different elements are that make up the development costs and understand the long term savings that society gains from including social value within the contract and creating local training and employment opportunities, supporting small and medium enterprises, involving school children and community organisations, reducing carbon emissions, planting trees and re-cycling construction materials, all in line with the Council's new procurement policy which is all about investing locally. I do consider that the housing developments you have cited present good value for money, in particular given what this Administration is trying to achieve.

Before looking at each of the developments you mention in your question in more detail, I would make several general points, the first being that a simple calculation of dividing a cost by the number of houses being built does not equate to the average construction cost of each dwelling and ignores many other factors.

Secondly, we have tasked officers to consider, when designing these schemes, to consider energy efficiency which of course impacts upon our tenants who live in the properties and how we can mitigate the effects of house building on climate change. It is the responsible thing to do as a social housing developer. We accept that this does come at a price but cheap is not always the best value. Ensuring that our tenants can afford to run their new homes and not find themselves in fuel poverty is another important factor for this council.

Similarly, reducing carbon emissions through the house building process and the subsequent use of the homes is a critical aspect of tackling climate change that this council can have a direct impact on and will contribute to the national carbon reduction target whereby the United Kingdom is required by 2050 to achieve at least a 100% reduction in carbon emissions relative to levels in 1990.

Our young people are fed up with politicians talking about ‘saving the planet’ without taking the decisive actions required to reduce carbon emissions. The Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in 2006 that within 10 years every home would be zero carbon, yet 15 years later, the legislation and funding to finance the practical steps to meet our obligations under the Paris Accord are still not in place, so it is up to us ‘to show the way’ .

The majority of the homes we are going to be building will achieve what the government is calling the Future Homes Standard. Although not due to be implemented until 2025, this Administration has taken a decision to be an early adopter of this standard which will see homes producing around 75% - 80% less carbon dioxide emissions than those built to current Building Regulations. The remaining homes, of which there are four, are being built at Saundby Avenue to the Passivhaus standard by way of a pilot scheme. These homes should require 75% less energy for space heating than a standard built house. Officers have scrutinised the approaches to achieving these outcomes to ensure value for money.

Supplementary question from Councillor Elliman

A couple of points to your answer Executive Mayor, we have builders building properties in Mansfield, new houses that come with the associated warranties that you would expect with NHBC for £160,000 I guess I would like you to stand in front of them and tell them that that house is cheap, that’s your words, not mine. We have plenty of other houses for considerable less than the other £206,000 you are proposing, accepting that money will need to be spend to bring them to standard but still less than the £206,000 I am all for more social council houses, although I am not sure you are given that you haven’t built any in the last two years. Why don’t be buy on the open market instead of spending over the odds like you are buying? £160k per unit, that would be 133 houses that we could have spent with the money you are spending on these three developments and naturally with more revenue flowing in and we would still have the land which you are building these properties on.

Response from the Mayor to Councillor Elliman’s supplementary question

As I said before, it’s not a straight forward calculation as you want to play out in this forum, for example for Saundy Avenue, development of four houses for the total budget cost of £785k, when you include the Right to Buy receipts of £303,000 and £100,000 for the Section 106, it actually comes for that particular site £355,000 which equates to £88.8k per property.

The main point that you seem to be missing is that we want to reach our climate change targets. I tried to demonstrate it with the words that were coming out of politician’s mouths in 2006. However, here we are many years later and we haven’t got the funding or the standards in place to be able to achieve these carbon reductions and so the word cheap was the wrong word to use, I’m saying that this is all about increasing the quality of housing to really take the issue of climate emergency seriously and you can’t do that on the cheap, you’ve got to invest in the latest technologies to achieve that.


It was proposed by the Executive Mayor and seconded by Councillor Whitby that the recommendation from the update on Mansfield Homes Limited taken on 19 April 2021 be noted.

Council was also updated in that seven properties had been sold on the development with a further five properties reserved. The show house had been relocated and viewings remained high. The new independent estate agent was performing better and was able to offer incentives.

On the motion being put to the vote, the Chair announced that the motion had been carried unanimously.

Decision Notice

Report of Head of Planning and Regeneration
RESOLVED - That the update on Mansfield Homes Limited be noted.

It was proposed by Councillor Whitby and seconded by the Executive Mayor that the recommendation from the delegated decision relating to Acceptance of Funding for Rough Sleeping Initiative from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for July 2021 to March 2022 be approved.

Members were advised that the funding totalling £289,632 would be ringfenced for the continuing support and next phases of the Council's Rough Sleeping Initiative.

It was reported that Mansfield had the highest number of rough sleepers in the County, excluding Nottingham City. Research from the Mansfield Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy identified, that the complexity of the issues that are causing people to rough sleep, needed to be tackled by an intensive homeless project.

The First Steps project had been very successful in reducing the rough sleeper figures in Mansfield. The official 2020 rough sleeper count was 7, and in some weekly reports since, 3 were being found.

The council had recently commissioned an independent evaluation of the First Steps project by Nottingham Trent University, which built on previous evaluations of the project during its early stages.

The report concluded that, taking account of the unprecedented circumstances, such as the pandemic, the intervention in Mansfield was undoubtedly working and was a positive contribution to the housing and homelessness reduction strategies within Nottinghamshire.

Future clients of Mansfield First Steps would continue to display multiple and complex needs that include self-medication, mental health issues, abusive and coercive relationships, low self-esteem, and offending behaviours.

On the motion being put to the vote, the Chair announced that the motion had been carried unanimously.

Decision Notice

Report of Head of Housing

(i) That the relevant funding for Rough Sleeping Initiative, MHCLG to be able to fund the housing led project be accepted.

(ii) That the 2021/2022 General Fund revenue budgets be amended accordingly.

The Chief Executive Officer submitted a report which detailed two key decisions which were taken via the Council's Special Urgency Procedure, where it had not been possible to advertise the decisions before they were taken.

The first decision was taken on 9 March, 2021 and related to the appointment of a new insurer for Council owned property.

The second was taken on 9 April, 2021 when funds were accepted from the Arts Council England's Culture Recovery Fund .

It was proposed by Councillor Barton and seconded by the Executive Mayor that the report be noted.

The report was noted through a show of hands.

Report of Chief Executive Officer
RESOLVED - That the report be noted.

It was proposed by the Executive Mayor and seconded by Councillor Lohan that -

(i). That Council support the conclusions and recommendations of the BEIS Committee inquiry into the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme.

(ii) To write to the UK Government to encourage them to accept the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee.

In proposing the motion, the Executive Mayor advised Council that the Committee had conducted an inquiry into the Scheme in particular with regard to the its surplus sharing arrangements, which had been agreed in 1994 with the Government when it privatised British Coal. The Scheme provided for that the Government would guarantee to pensioners the benefits they had earned up to privatisation and that the benefits would increase in line with inflation. In return, for the guarantee the Government would receive 50% of any surplus in the Scheme's value at subsequent valuations.

The Committee had concluded that the agreement had provided vital security to the Scheme but that the Government had profited from the arrangement to a far greater extent than originally anticipated. The Committee had also concluded that more of any future surpluses should be handed back to the Scheme along with the return of the Investment fund.

Several members spoke about the link between coal mining and various communities within the district and the long and lasting connections with mines. Council was also advised that the number of miners in the Scheme had significantly reduced due to deaths from health issues associated with the industry and age and that any improvement in sharing surpluses would have a significant impact on those miners currently within the Scheme. Any increase would not only benefit miners and their families but would also boost the local economy and demonstrate the Government's commitment to levelling up communities and regions.

On the motion being put to the vote by a show of hands, the Chair announced that the motion had been carried unanimously.


(i) That Council support the conclusions and recommendations of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee's inquiry into the Mineworkers Pension Scheme.

(ii) To write to the UK Government to encourage them to accept the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee.
Published 23/07/2021 14:14:41