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Council Minutes    

Date: Tuesday 25 January 2022       Time: 06:00 PM       Location: Council Chamber       Contact: mpemberton@Mansfield.gov.uk

Attendance Details

PresentNames
Present:Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams, Councillor Sinead Anderson, Councillor Barry Answer, Councillor Mick Barton, Councillor Ben Birchall, Councillor Stephen Bodle, Councillor Marion Bradshaw, Councillor Andrew Burgin, Councillor Terry Clay, Councillor John Coxhead, Councillor Bill Drewett, Councillor Robert Elliman, Councillor Mark Fretwell, Councillor Teresa Hanstock, Councillor Vaughan Hopewell, Councillor Brian Lohan, Councillor Ann Norman, Councillor Daniel Redfern, Councillor Stuart Richardson, Councillor Dave Saunders, Councillor Philip Shields, Councillor Andy Sissons, Councillor John Smart, Councillor David M Smith, Councillor June Stendall, Councillor Roger Sutcliffe, Councillor Sue Swinscoe, Councillor Andrew Tristram, Councillor Sidney Walker, Councillor Stuart Wallace, Councillor Sonya Ward, Councillor Andy Wetton, Councillor Craig Whitby, Councillor Martin Wright
In AttendanceAttendees
In Attendance:Mike Robinson, Sarah Hall, Dawn Edwards, Mark Pemberton and Julie Grainger
ItemDescriptionBackground InformationDecision
 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCEAPOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Barlow, Councillor Fisher and Councillor Garner
 
22/01DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTDECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

The Monitoring Officer reminded Members that all Members would be recorded as having a non-disclosable pecuniary interest in those reports that relate to the setting of Council Tax, however, a dispensation has been granted enabling Members to participate in the debate and vote upon those items.
 
22/02MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 30 NOVEMBER, 2021MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 30 NOVEMBER, 2021

Councillor Wright proposed and Councillor Tristram seconded that the Minutes of the Meeting held on 30 November, 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.

Minutes
RESOLVED - That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 30 November, 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.
22/03RECEIPT OF CORRESPONDENCE BY THE CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL, ELECTED MAYOR, MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE OR THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERRECEIPT OF CORRESPONDENCE BY THE CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL, ELECTED MAYOR, MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE OR THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

There was no correspondence to report.
 
22/04ADVANCE QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLICADVANCE QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

There were no advance questions from Members of the Public.
 
22/05ADVANCE QUESTIONS FROM ELECTED MEMBERSADVANCE QUESTIONS FROM ELECTED MEMBERS

Question for the Executive Mayor from Councillor Barton

Can the Mayor please tell me the hours of the CCTV room coverage, is it still 365 days a year and 24 hours a day?

Response from Executive Mayor -

Yes - the Council’s CCTV system is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. CCTV Operators work shifts to cover a 24 hour service.

Supplementary Question from Councillor Barton

Is there any intention of a reduction in CCTV coverage the near future?

Response from Executive Mayor to Councillor Barton's Supplementary question -

No there are none anticipated at all, in fact there is going to be eight new cameras to be added to the system in 2022 as part of the Safer Streets project funded by the Home Office.

Question for the Executive Mayor from Councillor Barton

Could the Mayor please tell me how many paid Wardens posts we have on our system now?

Response from the Executive Mayor -

There are 7.0 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Neighbourhood Wardens on the Establishment with 6.0 FTE currently in post. A recruitment exercise to fill the one existing vacancy will commence in the forthcoming weeks. The Neighbourhood Warden service also includes 1.0 FTE Neighbourhood Warden Team Leader meaning that there is a team of 8.0 FTE in total.

Question for the Executive Mayor from Councillor Barton

Could the Mayor please tell me how many paid Wardens posts we had on our system in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021?

Response from the Executive Mayor -

Throughout this period, there have been 12 FTE Neighbourhood Wardens on the Establishment but the numbers actually in post have fluctuated due to vacancies. The numbers at the end of each year were as follows:

2015 – 12.0 FTE
2016 – 12.0 FTE
2017 – 7.0 FTE
2018 – 10.0 FTE
2019 – 7.0 FTE
2020 – 5.0 FTE

At the end of 2021 5.0 FTE Neighbourhood Wardens were in post but this has increased to 6.0 FTE, plus 1.0 FTE Neighbourhood Warden Team Leader, since the start of 2022.

Question to the Executive Mayor from Councillor Barton

Is it true that the Wardens have been cut down to just 7 Wardens for the whole District?

Response from the Executive Mayor - A decision was taken by the Head of Paid Service on 17 December 2021 to delete 5.0 FTE Neighbourhood Warden vacancies. This followed the conclusion of a review of the Community Safety service which was undertaken by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, made up of cross party members. The report was circulated to all Elected Members and has been available in the public domain. The outcome of this decision leaves 8.0 FTE on the Establishment (including the Neighbourhood Warden Team Leader) but with one vacancy that will now be recruited to in the forthcoming weeks.

Supplementary Question from Councillor Barton -

Obviously you have never been a Councillor Mr. Mayor and obviously there are 36 Councillors and we've all used our Wardens very well over the years and its very disappointing to cut down to 7 but do you honestly think 7 Wardens can serve 36 Wards in our District Mr. Mayor?

Response from Executive Mayor to Councillor Barton's Supplementary Question -

I do, because I will go through what we've got on offer now compared to what we had on offer in 2019, where we just had 7 in place, but when recruitment is complete and the team is at full capacity, there will be one Neighbourhood Warden for every 13,625 people living in the district. This is greater than 13 of the 14 local authorities included in a recent benchmarking exercise with only Chesterfield having a marginally higher ratio of one Neighbourhood Warden for every 13,112 people.

When the decision was taken to delete vacancies in the Neighbourhood Warden service, another decision was also taken to increase the number of ASB Case Officers by 1.0 FTE which will increase the capacity of the ASB team to 3.6 FTE. This decision was taken in response to demand and an increase in the number of more complex ASB cases being dealt with by the service but the landscape has changed considerably since then, we have a much stronger public safety offer after funding an additional police officer ourselves for one year we are pleased that the number of police officers has increased each year. In Mansfield North you've got a Sergeant, 5 Officers and 6 PCSO's, in Mansfield South, 1 Sergeant, 4 Officers and 4 PCSO's and the Town Centre 1 Sergeant, 6 Officers and 6 PCSO's.

Councillor Barton - Point of Order Chair, I asked about the Wardens, I didn't ask about the Police, I know he's going through what he's got written down, but I asked about the Wardens.

Executive Mayor - I will continue because you are inferring that the decrease in the number of Wardens is affecting how public safety is in Mansfield.

Councillor Barton - I never said that. I'm not interested in other areas, I am only interested in Mansfield.

Executive Mayor - Effectively it is hard to take it all in isolation because we work in team work with the Police and effectively the answer is we have a much stronger working relationship with the Police and public safety is in a far better state now than it was in 2019.

Question to the Executive Mayor from Councillor Barton

Why were all Councillors not updated on the acquisition of the Beales site instead of having to find this out through the media?

Response from the Executive Mayor -

All Members were briefed in advance of the Full Council Committee meeting in November on the proposals with an opportunity to ask any questions and it was fully supported. Following completion of the acquisition just prior to Christmas, all members then received an emailed copy of the formal PR which the Council issued, which is standard practice.

Supplementary question from Councillor Barton -

I was disappointed obviously when we all saw it on Social Media, and you said we had that e:mail, unfortunately I was having trouble with my Ipad, it was here to be honest, but that's fair enough, I respect your answer, but going back to Beales, what you said on the Media, I wasn't aware of and didn't agree with your future plans for Beales. I do think it would be a good idea to go back out to the public, would you consider putting a letter together to go out with the Council Tax bills in March and ask the public what they want to happen to Beales and do some consultation with the public.

Response from Executive Mayor to Councillor Barton's supplementary question -

There has been wide consultation with the public via the Town Centre Masterplan which sets out our aspirations for the next 10-15 years and in that masterplan we spoke about a Civic Hub and a big focus on the regeneration of the town centre, it was part of what we promised to do when we were elected and we all know how the high street has suffered even more during the pandemic. The idea of the Civic Hub will not just be a new Headquarters for the Council, but will be a range of public, education, enterprise, health and wellbeing services along with spaces for private sector as well as food and drink outlets. There has been a wide consultation including on the Mansfield Place Board which has got people from the County, Nottingham Trent University, the NHS, all Stakeholders that have got a major interest and are supporting of regeneration in the centre of Mansfield, so we believe it will be the catalyst to regenerate the town and most of the soundings that I have received from social media and commentaries with interviews has been really positive and it is going to be a real catalyst and a changing point for the regeneration of Mansfield.

Question to the Executive Mayor from Councillor Barton

Can the Mayor tell me the total number of Staff members that are employed here at MDC right now please?

Response from the Executive Mayor -

I will get you a written response to make sure you have the exact figure.

Question to the Executive Mayor from Councillor Barton

Can the Mayor tell me what revenue was collected for the Brown Bin garden waste scheme please individually year on year in from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 to present?

Response from the Executive Mayor -

The figures are -
2015/16 £495,896
2016/17 £583,779
2017/18 £585,612
2018/19 £588,140
2019/20 £561,020
2020/21 £499,638
20221/22 £582,479
Note - the first 2 years aren’t 100% accurate as the Council didn’t have a separate cost centre for Garden Waste back then.

Advance Questions
 
22/06EXTRACT MINUTE FROM CABINET ON THE MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY 2022/23 - 2024/25EXTRACT MINUTE FROM CABINET ON THE MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY 2022/23 - 2024/25

It was proposed by the Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Finance and seconded by the Elected Mayor that the recommendations from the Cabinet, relating to the Medium Term Financial Strategy be approved.

In proposing the motion the Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Finance stated that recommendations brought together the proposals for the Council’s General Fund and Housing Revenue Account revenue and capital budgets for the financial years 2022/23, through to 2024/25.

Council was advised that Appendix 1 to the report showed that a balance budget had been achieved for the General Fund in line with statutory requirements and included expected savings of £300,000 on the new leisure management contract in 2023/24 and the following two years.

Appendix 2 in the report detailed savings options to address the £1.3m deficit identified at the beginning of the budget setting process in October 2021.

When savings options were presented to Cabinet on 13 December, 2021, the position was balanced. However, the Government settlement, announced on 16 December, 2021 was more generous than expected, largely due to an uplift in the New Homes Bonus element.

The New Homes Bonus, Services Grant and Lower Tier Services Grant, in addition to the savings identified through consultation with the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) provided additional opportunities, decreasing the need to balance the budget based on savings.

This additional flexibility meant that the Cabinet could propose a Council Tax freeze for 2022/23 without relying on reserves, which would assist residents living with increasing living costs.

The uplift in funding had also meant that some difficult cost savings could be set aside which would provide scope for improving some council services, including the domestic garden waste charge, investing in Parks and Open Spaces and the Economic Stimulus Fund and other developments.

The Housing Revenue Account had a balanced budget position, which is unchanged from the draft report considered by Cabinet and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee as shown in Appendix 3.

The Council had followed government guidelines for setting dwelling rents which is CPI plus 1%; this equates to a 4.1% increase for the next financial year with CPI estimates at 2% for the following two financial years.

The General Fund and Housing Revenue Account Consolidated Capital Programmes have been set out in tables 3 and 4 with a breakdown of schemes detailed in appendices 4 and 5.

The fees and charges for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account have been set out in Appendix 9. Where fees and charges have been increased this is generally in line with the Bank of England’s target for inflation at 2%. Members should have this week received an updated Appendix 9 for Fees and Charges containing minor corrections.

The Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Finance thanked the Finance team for their hard work and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) who had scrutinised proposed savings options to achieve this balanced budget.

Several members referred to the proposed increase in Council house rent which would impact on household budgets. Council was advised of the proportion of Council tenants in receipt of either full or partial housing benefit and therefore wouldn’t be affected by the increase. Members were also reminded that the increase was in line with the Government’s Rent Formula.

On recommendation (v) being put to the vote the following votes were recorded -

For - Elected Mayor, Councillors Anderson, Answer, Barton, Birchall, Bodle, Bradshaw, Burgin, Clay, Coxhead, Drewett, Elliman, Fretwell, Hanstock, Hopewell, Lohan, Norman, Redfern, Richardson, Saunders, Shields, Sissons, Smart, Smith, Stendall, Sutcliffe, Swinscoe, Tristram, Walker, Wallace, Ward, Wetton, Whitby and Wright

The Chair announced that the motion had been carried unanimously.

On recommendations (i), (ii) and (vi) being put to the vote, the following votes were recorded -

For - Elected Mayor, Councillors Anderson, Answer, Barton, Birchall, Bodle, Bradshaw, Burgin, Clay, Coxhead, Drewett, Elliman, Fretwell, Hopewell, Lohan, Norman, Redfern, Richardson, Saunders, Sissons, Smart, Smith, Stendall, Sutcliffe, Swinscoe, Tristram, Walker, Wallace, Ward, Wetton, Whitby and Wright

Against - Councillors Hanstock and Shields

The Chair announced that the motion had been carried by 32 votes in favour with 2 votes against and 0 abstentions.

On recommendations (iii), (iv) and (vii) and (viii) being put to the vote, the following votes were recorded -

For - Elected Mayor, Councillors Anderson, Answer, Birchall, Bodle, Bradshaw, Burgin, Clay, Coxhead, Elliman, Fretwell, Lohan, Norman, Richardson, Saunders, Sissons, Smart, Sutcliffe, Swinscoe, Ward, Wetton and Whitby

Against – Councillors Drewett, Hanstock, Hopewell, Redfern, Shields, Stendall, Tristram, Walker, Wallace and Wright

Abstentions - Councillor Barton and Smith

The Chair announced that the motion had been carried by 22 votes in favour with 10 votes against and 2 abstentions.

On recommendations (ix) and (x) being put to the vote, the following votes were recorded -

For - Elected Mayor, Councillors Anderson, Answer, Barton, Birchall, Bodle, Bradshaw, Burgin, Clay, Coxhead, Drewett, Elliman, Fretwell, Hanstock, Hopewell, Lohan, Norman, Richardson, Saunders, Sissons, Smart, Smith, Sutcliffe, Swinscoe, Tristram, Walker, Wallace, Ward, Wetton, Whitby and Wright

Against - Councillors Redfern, Shields and Stendall

The Chair announced that the motion had been carried by 31 votes in favour with 3 votes against and 0 abstentions.

Extract Minute from Cabinet

Report of Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Finance and Appendices 1 - 8

Fees and Charges Appendix 9

Planning Application Fees - Appendix 10

New Fees - Appendix 11
RESOLVED -
(i) That the General Fund revenue budget for 2022/23 financial year be approved as set out in Appendix 1.
(ii) That the General Fund revenue budget for 2023/24 to 2024/25 financial year be approved in principle, subject to an annual review, as set out in Appendix 1.
(iii) That the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) revenue budget for 2022/23 financial year be approved as set out in Appendix 3.
(iv) That the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) revenue budget for the 2023/24 to 2024/25 financial years be approved in principle, subject to an annual review, as set out in Appendix 3.
(v) That the Mansfield District Council 2022/23 Band D Council Tax be approved at £194.72, which is no increase on 2021/22 Council Tax
(vi) That the fees and charges for General Fund services be approved for the 2022/23 financial year, as defined in section 3.4.9 and detailed in
Appendix 9 Fees & Charges
Appendix 10 Planning Application Fees
Appendix 11 New Fees
(vii) That the fees and charges for Housing Revenue Account services be approved for the 2022/23 financial year, as set out in Appendix 9.
(viii) That Council Dwelling rents be increased by 4.1% for the 2022/23 financial year, in line with Government Guideline Rents (CPI plus 1%).
(ix) That the General Fund Consolidated Capital Programme as detailed in Table 3 and Appendix 4 be approved.
(x) That the Housing Revenue Account Consolidated Capital Programme as detailed in Table 4 and Appendix 5 be approved.
22/07MOTIONSMOTIONS

There were no motions.
 
Published 04/02/2022 07:55:49