Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Coalville

Contact: Democratic Services  01530 454512

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors D Bigby, R Canny, J Clarke and D Stevenson.


Declaration of Interests

Members are reminded that any declaration of interest should be made having regard to the code of conduct.  In particular, members must make clear the nature of the interest and whether it is 'pecuniary' or ‘non pecuniary'.


There were no interests declared.


Chairman's Announcements


The following announcements were made:


The Chairman reminded members that his chosen charity was the Alzheimer’s Society and invited them to join him in a ‘Memory Walk’ in aid of this charity which was taking place at 10.00am on 22 September at Abbey Park, Leicester.


The Chairman advised Members of the sad passing of Val Pulford who was a district councillor between 1979 and 1987 for the ward of “Appleby Magna, Chilcote, Snarestone, Stretton-en-le Field and Swepstone” (now known as Appleby Ward) and a parish councillor at Ravenstone with Snibston parish until recently.


Her funeral will be held on Tuesday 17th September at 12.30pm at St Michael & All Angels Parish Church, Ravenstone. Council joined the Chairman in expressing condolences to her family and asked that a card be sent.


Admission of Additional Item


The Chairman agreed to accept an urgent item of business and the report on this was circulated with the additional papers. 


Dispensation for Extended Absence pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Report of the Chief Executive

Presented by the Business and Regeneration Portfolio Holder


Councillor Gillard presented the report and advised Members that Councillor David Stevenson who has been suffering from ill health was currently being looked after at the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham. He is therefore unable to attend this meeting.


Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 provides that if a member of a local authority fails to attend a meeting of the authority for a period of six consecutive months without approval from Council, then he/she will cease to be a member of the authority.


Councillor Stevenson last attended a meeting on 21 May 2019 which would result in him ceasing to be a member on 20 November 2019.


Council was therefore asked to consider giving granting a dispensation to Councillor Stevenson for an extended absence.


The Chairman invited questions and comments.


Councillors expressed their sadness at this news and reminded those that may not be aware that Councillor David Stevenson was the longest serving member of the Council having been elected in 1973 and he had earned a great deal of respect from across the Chamber in this time. Council supported the extension and asked that a card be sent on behalf of the Council. Councillor Rushton advised that both he and Councillor Boam would be dealing with any ward and parish issues on behalf of Councillor Stevenson during his period of absence.


It was moved by Councillor Gillard and seconded by Councillor Sheahan and




(1)            Council sends its thought and good wishes to Councillor David Stevenson;

(2)            Councillor David Stevenson be granted a dispensation for extended absence   from all meetings in his role as a councillor for the Worthington and Breedon               ward for a period of six months.



Leader's and Portfolio Holders' Announcements

Members are reminded that under paragraph 11.1 of part 4 of the Constitution, questions can be asked of the Leader and Cabinet Members without notice about any matter contained in any address.  Questions shall be limited to five minutes in total for each announcement.


The Chairman invited the Leader and the Portfolio holders to make any announcements.

Councillor Blunt made the follow announcements.

A511 Corridor

Council was advised that the Leicestershire County Council’s A511 Coalville Growth Corridor Plans had been accepted for inclusion in the priority list for Government funding with a request for £42m. This scheme was one of eleven submitted in the Midlands for local road improvements. These plans would see improvements from the A42 junction at Ashby through to Junction 22 of the M1 motorway, including localised road widening and dualling and a new link road at Bardon. The total cost of the programme is £49m but £7m has been secured by the Council through Section 106 Agreements and involves both the County and the District working closely together on the details of the scheme. Councillor Blunt thanked Andrew Bridgen MP and local councillors both past and present from all parties who for many years have been lobbying for these improvements.

Future High Streets Fund   

Councillor Blunt advised that the Council had been successful in its expression of interest regarding access to the fund. An invitation had now been made to the Council to submit a full business case by January 2020 for up to £25m for improvements to the town. If successful, it would provide the opportunity to transform Coalville. The Council has been given the opportunity to apply for early funding for a sum in excess of £100k to assist the business case and to help make the bid as complete and robust as possible. Councillor Blunt acknowledged the achievement in getting this far given that only 100 towns from over 300 applications had been invited to the next stage, and the only town in Leicestershire to get this far. The improvements would include reconfiguration and improvements to the Belvoir Centre on which the Council is negotiating with the new owners, enhancement of green infrastructure, refurbishment of existing sites and the inclusion of a cinema and cycle and pedestrian routes. Ideas and input are welcomed and Councillor Blunt stressed the need for everyone to work together to help give the Council the best chance possible of receiving this funding. He encouraged all Coalville members to attend a special meeting on 10 October and advised that there would also be close liaison with the members of the Coalville Special Expenses Working Group, together with local business, residents and organisations.

Director Appointment

Councillor Blunt advised that the appointment for the new Director had been advertised nationally and stressed the importance of getting candidates with the right skills across the board to assist the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team. The closing date for applications is 20 September followed by long listing interviews and two day assessments after shortlisting and confirmation by the Appointments Panel scheduled for 23 October 2019.

Planning Committee 

Council was reminded that last week saw the most controversial meeting of Planning Committee for some time when it considered the application in respect of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Question and Answer Session

To receive questions from members of the public under procedure rule no.10.  The procedure rule provides that members of the public may ask members of the Cabinet any question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the District, provided that three clear days’ notice in writing has been given to the Head of Legal and Support Services.


There were no questions received.


Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To receive members’ questions under procedure rule no.11.  The procedure rule provides that any member may ask the chairman of a board or group any question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the District, provided that three clear days’ notice in writing has been given to the Head of Legal and Support Services.

Additional documents:


Two questions had been received.


The Chairman invited Councillor Legrys to ask his question addressed to Councillor Woodman. 


“At its meeting on the 27th February 2018 I once again placed a question to the then Portfolio Holder about using the Council’s Environmental powers to insist that the surrounding landowners remove overgrown vegetation on Mantle Lane Coalville.


Whilst regular cleaning is carried out by the Council’s cleaning teams, overgrown vegetation on structures and land belonging to Network Rail continues to be an unkempt eyesore that spoils this key entrance into Coalville Town Centre.


When will the Council use its powers under law to insist that Network Rail tidy up their property to the benefit of road users, pedestrians and shoppers?”


The Chairman invited Councillor Woodman to respond.


”Enforcement Officer, Ian Webster, has visited the site and confirms that the level of

overgrown vegetation constitutes issuing of a Community Protection Warning. This is the first stage of the formal process leading to the issuing of a Community Protection Notice if the problem persists. In line with our Procedures and Policies, Network Rail have been contacted and advised of the vegetation issue. Ian has received notification today (5.9.19) that Network Rail have logged his request and that contact will be made to address the issue. If we do not receive further communication within a reasonable time frame we will progress with the first level of action.


The Business Focus Team recognises that Mantle Lane is an important gateway into Coalville Town Centre and a link to the new Leisure Centre. Consequently we are looking at ways in which the Future High Street Fund bid and Regeneration Framework might bring forward improvements. Business Focus have contacted Network Rail about working with them to improve the appearance of the bridge and are awaiting a response”.

The Chairman invited Councillor Legrys to ask a supplementary question.


Councillor Legrys supplementary question was “Can I have a timeline?”


Councillor Woodman agreed to supply this to Councillor Legrys.


The Chairman invited Councillor Benfield to ask his question addressed to Councillor Ashman. 


“As contingency planning continues for the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, much of the Nation's focus has been on implications at the Channel Ports.


However, as host to one of the largest air freight terminals in the UK, it would seem obvious that congestion at sea ports could be alleviated by increasing operations at East Midlands Airport. Such preparations have not been publicly discussed.


I am concerned that the Airport has no restrictions on volume of traffic either by day or night, (although I am aware of the slightly tighter noise limits required at night).


Could the Leader therefore provide the Council with detailed information on the expected increases in: air and road traffic, noise, particulate pollution, and CO2 in the event of a no-deal Brexit?”


The Chairman invited Councillor Ashman to respond.


“The Council is fully engaged in the contingency planning for a no deal Brexit with the chief executive being the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.



To consider the following motion submitted by Councillor S Sheahan:


This Council notes the latest promise of £150,000 from the Government to assist with our EU exit preparations as a port area. This comes in addition to sums totalling £180,000 already allocated.

However, this Council does not believe this money will adequately mitigate the effects of a no-deal Brexit which the Government claims it is 'turbo-charging' its preparations for.

Evidence indicates the outcome of a no-deal Brexit would be costly and damaging and we are particularly concerned about the impact on vulnerable residents and smaller businesses within our District.

We further note that there is no majority for a no-deal Brexit either in Parliament or amongst the wider electorate.

We therefore deplore the Prime Minister's anti-democratic attempt to frustrate the will of Parliament by suspending it, thereby increasing the chances of Brexit occurring with no deal in place.

This Council resolves to make its views known by writing to our local MP, and urging him not to support actions which will lead to a damaging no-deal Brexit.



Councillor Sheahan moved the motion as set out on the agenda and presented it to members.


He advised that it was apparent to him that the Prime Minister was attempting to push through a ‘no deal’ Brexit and thus followed another imperative to block this which had resulted in the Prime Minister attempting to side step Parliament. It would seem that he is putting his own interests ahead of those of the public and this motion attempts to address this.


Councillor Everitt seconded the motion and reserved his comments.


The Chairman welcomed comments from the floor.


Councillor Ashman felt the motion was politically motivated by Party headquarters.  However, despite the squabbling within the walls of Parliament he felt that writing a letter to the MP was not the way forward as it would only reflect the views of a small number of councillors in this Chamber. Instead he felt they should be focussing on the job that local councillors have been elected to do in preparing for Brexit whether it be ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’ and that is what they have been doing with regular updates to DHCLG.


Councillor Ashman reported that he was satisfied that the Council had sufficient resources and robust plans and rather than run a localised ‘project fear’ they are taking all the necessary steps to reduce the impact of leaving on the people of North West Leicestershire.


Councillor Eynon supported the motion and expressed concern on the possible risks associated with necessary medical supplies not being readily available.


Councillor Wyatt did not support the motion and echoed the comments in relation to ‘project fear’. He advised that the people of North West Leicestershire voted to leave the EU and we should respect their views.


Councillor Merrie supported the views of Councillor Wyatt and did not support the motion and Councillor Legrys, whilst supporting the motion he congratulated the work currently being done by officers in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit but he did express his despair that we are at this impasse through no fault of our own.


Councillor Benfield supported the views of Councillor Ashman in that we should vote on and support the best interests of the people of North West Leicestershire, however he considered the best interests of those people is not to surge into a ‘no deal’ Brexit and he fully supported the motion.


Councillor Everitt spoke very passionately about his support of the motion and his support to the European Union. He considered that most people just want a resolution to this mess and we need to be in a position where we can at least say we did our best for the people. 


Councillor Sheahan exercised his right to reply and responded to the comments made by members.


Councillor Sheahan stated that this was not ‘project fear’ but ‘project reality’ and regardless of whether we voted leave or remain, we should all be voting against ‘no deal’ Brexit.


The Chairman then put the following motion to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.



To receive petitions in accordance with the Council’s Petition Scheme. 


No petitions were received.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 25 June 2019.


Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 25 June 2019.

It was moved by Councillor Bridges, seconded by Councillor Richichi and


RESOLVED THAT: The minutes of the meeting held on 25 June 2019 be approved as a correct record


Notification of an Urgent Decision - Land Options at Coalville pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Report of the Chief Executive

Presented by the Leader


Councillor Rushton presented the report. He advised that the Constitution states that the call-in procedure may be suspended where a decision being taken by the Cabinet is urgent. A decision is considered urgent if any delay likely to be caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the Council’s or the publics’ interests. In all circumstances, the Chairman of the Council must agree that the decision is reasonable and must agree to the decision being treated as a matter of urgency.


Decisions taken as a matter of urgency must be recorded in the minutes and be reported to the next available meeting of the Council, together with the reasons for urgency.


The Chairman invited questions and comments from the floor.


Councillor Legrys expressed his disappointment that this retrospective decision is being made and this administrative process was not picked up at the time.


It was moved by Councillor Blunt and seconded by Councillor Ashman and


RESOLVED THAT: The report be noted.



Update to the Council's Constitution pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Report of the Head of Legal and Commercial Services

Presented by the Corporate Portfolio Holder

Additional documents:


Councillor Rushton presented the report. He reminded Council that at its meeting on 26 February 2019, it had agreed to expand the scrutiny function, from one committee meeting     six times per year, to two committees each meeting five times per year.


The Corporate Leadership Team have considered the role that the Corporate Scrutiny Committee will play in the budget setting process. Given the importance, complexity and profile of this process, senior officers recommend that an additional meeting of the

Corporate Scrutiny Committee is provided for in the Constitution. In coming to this conclusion, senior officers noted that there was little flexibility to allow extra meetings of the Scrutiny Committees should urgent business arise. Therefore it is further recommended that the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Chair of the relevant Scrutiny Committee, be empowered to convene additional meetings of either Scrutiny Committee to consider urgent business. In order to effect the additional meetings recommended above, minor changes need to be and these were set out in the Appendix to the report.


The Chairman invited questions and comments.


Councillor Blunt advised that his group was fully committed to the role of scrutiny and welcomed this report.


Councillors Sheahan and Eynon reported that they welcomed any enhancement to scrutiny arrangements but still felt that they fell short compared with County and consideration should be given to offering the chairmanship of one of the Scrutiny Committees to the opposition.


Councillor Wyatt expressed concern at his unsuccessful attempts in getting matters raised at the Scrutiny Committee.


Councillor Harrison advised that comparisons should not be made with County which is much larger and more complex than the District with more resources available to it.


Councillor Rushton advised that it was well within the gift of all members to seek to have items included on the Scrutiny work programmes and any such matters should be raised when the scrutiny work programmes are discussed at each Scrutiny Committee meeting.


It was moved by Councillor Rushton and seconded by Councillor Harrison and




(1)  the Council’s Constitution be amended to allow additional scrutiny meetings; as described in the report;

(2)    The Council authorises the Head of Legal and Commercial Services to make the agreed amendments and any consequential amendments to the Constitution and re-issue the document.


Allocation of Seats on Committees pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Report of the Chief Executive

Presented by the Deputy Leader

Additional documents:


Councillor Gillard presented the report. He advised members that an updated report on this item was set out in the additional papers which followed a change to the political affiliation. On 29 August 2019, the Council was advised that Councillor Daniel Tebbutt would no longer be a member of the Labour Group.

On 5 September Councillor Tebbutt advised that he had been affiliated to the Conservative group and, due to the consequential shift in the political balance of the Council, the proportionality has been recalculated.


Following discussions with the whips from both affected groups, necessary changes will need to be made to the seats on Committees to accord with the rules on proportionality. Details of those rules were set out in the report together with the proposed changes.


The Chairman invited questions and comments.

There were none.

It was moved by Councillor Gillard and seconded by Councillor Johnson and


(1)       That Councillor Johnson be appointed to the Planning Committee to replace Councillor Tebbutt;

(2)       That Councillor Bigby be appointed as a substitute on the Planning Committee to replace Councillor Johnson;

(3)       That Councillor Tebbutt be appointed to the seat currently allocated to Councillor Sewell on the Community Scrutiny Committee;

(4)       That Councillor Sewell be appointed as substitute on the Community Scrutiny Committee to replace Councillor Tebbutt;

(5)       That the unchanged membership of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee be noted.



Appointment of representatives on community bodies - Alderman Newton Education Foundation pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Report of the Chief Executive

Presented by the Deputy Leader


Councillor Ashman presented the report. He reminded members that appointments to community bodies were made at the Annual meeting of the Council in May. This followed a comprehensive review whereby all community bodies were written to and invited to request council representation. Following those appointments a further request has been made for a representative for the Alderman Newton Education Foundation.


Nominations had been sought from all political group whips and one nomination had been received this being Councillor John Clarke.


It was therefore moved by Councillor Ashman and seconded by Councillor Gillard and


RESOLVED THAT: The Councillor John Clarke be appointed as a representative to the Alderman Newton Education Foundation for the remainder of the civic year.