Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Remote meeting using Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services  01530 454529

Media

Items
No. Item

35.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

 

 

36.

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'.

Minutes:

Councillor N Smith declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 13 – Appointments to the Independent Remuneration Panel - for reasons of one of the Panel members being a customer at his wife’s shop. 

 

Councillor C Sewell declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 10 – Council Delivery Plan - for reasons of her being a parish councillor on Kegworth Parish Council.

 

Councillor M Wyatt declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 10 – Council Delivery Plan - for reasons of him having local businesses in Coalville Town Centre.

 

They all remained in the meeting for the decision and vote on these items.

 

 

37.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman delivered a very poignant address and reflected on his own personal experiences in relation to his past and his association with some of the veterans who had had an influence on his life. 

 

 

38.

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.

Minutes:

Councillor R Ashman, Deputy Leader reported that he was standing in for the Leader who had tested positive for COVID-19 and although still unwell, was making a good recovery; and on behalf of the Council sent his best wishes. The Deputy Leader went on to recognise the efforts of all the volunteers, community workers and staff who were helping to support the local communities and those most in need. He reported that North West Leicestershire District Council was continuing to deliver its vital services and expressed, on behalf of the Council, his sincere apologies to those who had lost family members, friends and colleagues to this virus. He referred also to the sad death of Geoff Bushell who was known to many due to him being instrumental in the campaign on the opening of the Ivanhoe line. Thoughts and prayers were conveyed to his family.

 

The Deputy Leader recognised the impact that COVID-19 was also having on the business community in the run up to Christmas and advised that work was currently underway on assessing the impact of the business grants and how these can be utilised to help local businesses during this difficult time.

 

Members echoed the sentiments conveyed by the Deputy Leader.

 

 

39.

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 Commercial Services.

Minutes:

No questions were received.

 

 

40.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 185 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 Commercial Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that he had received three questions ahead of the meeting and that he would take them in the order they had been received.

 

(1)  The Chairman invited Councillor M Wyatt to ask his question addressed to Councillor A Woodman.

 

Since early 2020 I have been supplying the Council’s planning enforcement team with information concerning unauthorised and illegal use of land off Baker Street in Coalville. The recorded incidents are for dumping of waste, a wheel wash, a lorry park as advertised on the A511, removal, burial and disposal of contaminated soil along with daily burning of plastic and other toxic items. I would also point out that it was reported and confirmed by officers who visited the site that there was someone living on the site in a caravan, which to date is continuing to do so.  

               

It is now November, and still complaints are being received concerning this site. Can I ask for a full and detail explanation to why action as not yet been taken concerning a number of issues which I have set out. Also can I ask if you agree with your officers comments which were sent to me, that one of the reasons why action was not being taken to address the illegal activity at the site is because the council are awaiting a possible planning application for this site, which in my opinion, is absolutely ridiculous and should never be an excuse to why illegal action is not acted upon?”

 

The Chairman invited Councillor A Woodman to respond.

 

“The Planning Enforcement Team was first made aware of the potential breaches of planning legislation by Cllr Wyatt on 17th February 2020, and an enforcement case was duly opened. A site visit was conducted on 5th March 2020, the outcome of which was that the activities should either cease, or retrospective applications should be submitted for each use.  On the 10th March 2020 Cllr Wyatt was informed that the other activities alleged to be taking place fell under the jurisdiction of the Environment Agency and were not a matter for the district council. The other matters raised concerned the importation of waste and the removal and disposal of contaminated soil on the site. These were reported on the same day to the Environment Agency.

 

A further site visit was conducted on 26th May 2020 to establish the current activities and officers were able to confirm that in addition to the earlier reported activities there was a fleet vehicle washing business operating from the site. The outcome was that the owner of the business was instructed by officers to submit retrospective planning applications for the additional business uses.

 

A reasonable period of time was given to allow the owner to submit a planning application. Since a reasonable time had elapsed and no application had been received, a further site visit was conducted on 5th November 2020. The visit confirmed that the lorry/wheel washing/fleet cleaning business and the lorry park business had both  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Motions pdf icon PDF 313 KB

1)  To consider the following motion received from Councillor S Sheahan:

 

This Council notes that Commonwealth and Nepalese veterans have a long and proud history of service in the British military. From conflicts of old, such as World War Two, to recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan, these veterans have served with distinction alongside British-born veterans.

 

However when their service is complete, many are left with extortionate charges to remain in the UK. This Council also notes many such veterans state that the Army failed to inform them that they needed to make an immediate application to the Home Office for leave to remain in the UK when their service was complete. Many thought the process was automatic yet this is not the case.

 

Fees for indefinite leave to remain have also dramatically increased. Since 2015, fees for indefinite leave to remain have increased by 127% from £1,051 to £2,389, with a family of four having to pay nearly £10,000 to remain in the UK. This figure doesn’t include the associated legal fees that some, who have struggled with immigration applications, have to pay. Many face spiralling debt and uncertain immigration status because failing to pay leaves their immigration status in doubt, and the very real prospect of deportation. Whilst their applications are ongoing, they are also unable to seek employment or claim benefits.

 

In cases which were reported on by the BBC, Taitusi Ratucaucau, a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was handed an NHS bill for £50,000, whilst Filimone Lacanivalu was 48 hours away from being deported in 2013, despite serving two tours of Afghanistan. Sadly, there are hundreds of cases such as these, and with recruitment from the Commonwealth increasing, this injustice will continue to linger for the foreseeable future.

 

This Council believes this to be a poor reward for people we persuaded to leave their countries in order to serve in the British armed forces. It is a poor reward for those who have been willing to put their lives on the line in service of this nation and we believe that they deserve better.

 

This Council resolves to make their Armed Forces Champion and lead officers aware of the difficulties experienced by Commonwealth and Nepalese veterans, and to ensure that those who are currently experiencing problems, whether financial or immigration difficulties, are not disadvantaged whilst their applications are ongoing.

 

This Council calls upon the Leader of the Council to write to the Prime Minister, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Future Borders and Immigration,) Kevin Foster MP and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Defence People and Veterans,) Johnny Mercer MP, outlining this Council's support for all Commonwealth and Nepalese veterans who have served a minimum of 4 years to be granted the automatic and free of charge right to remain in the UK, and that any veteran who completes 12 years of service to be automatically given British Citizenship.

 

Furthermore, This Council calls upon  ...  view the full agenda text for item 41.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that he had received two motions for consideration at the meeting and that he would take them in the order they had been received.

 

(1)  Councillor S Sheahan moved the following motion, the wording of which had changed from that which was published in the agenda and was circulated in the additional papers.

 

“This Council notes that Commonwealth and Nepalese veterans have a long and proud history of service in the British military. From conflicts of old, such as World War Two, to recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan, these veterans have served with distinction alongside British-born veterans.

 

However when their service is complete, many are left with charges to remain in the UK, which in some cases are extremely high. This Council also notes many such veterans state that the Army failed to inform them that they needed to make an immediate application to the Home Office for leave to remain in the UK when their service was complete. Many thought the process was automatic yet this is not the case.

 

This Council acknowledges the excellent campaign organised by the Royal British Legion to resolve such cases and agree a fairer system for the future, which has gathered all party support.  Whilst welcoming the fact that the Ministry of Defence is in communication with the Home Office on this matter, this Council resolves to make their Armed Forces Champion and lead officers aware of the difficulties experienced by Commonwealth and Nepalese veterans and to ensure that those who are currently experiencing problems, whether financial or immigration difficulties, are not disadvantaged whilst their applications are ongoing.

 

This Council requests that the Leader of the Council write to the Prime Minister, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Future Borders and Immigration,) Kevin Foster MP and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Defence People and Veterans,) Johnny Mercer MP, outlining our support for all Commonwealth and Nepalese veterans who have served a minimum of 4 years to be granted the automatic and free of charge right to remain in the UK.

 

Furthermore, This Council calls upon the Leader of the Council to write to Andrew Bridgen MP for North West Leicestershire, on the behalf of this Council, to ask that he press the Government for a change in the legislation that affects those that have served diligently and honourably for this Country.”

 

This motion was second by Councillor K Merrie

 

A full debate was held which received full support for the motion.

 

The Chairman invited Councillor Sheahan to respond to exercise his right to reply.

 

Councillor Sheahan thanked Members for their supportive comments and hoped that by accepting this motion it would make a real difference.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, the motion was carried.

 

(2)  Councillor D Everiit moved the following motion

 

“That this Council -

 

  • recognises that there is a housing crisis with too few genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy;

 

42.

Petitions

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

Minutes:

No petitions were received.

 

 

43.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 250 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 8 September 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 8 September 2020.

 

Councillor Nigel Smith referenced a comment he had made at that meeting which he believed had been misunderstood. The inference made by some members was not his intention and he reiterated that he did not believe that any whipping had taken place at a meeting of the Planning Committee. 

 

It was moved by Councillor V Richichi, seconded by Councillor J Hoult and by affirmation of the meeting it was

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 September 2020 be approved, subject to a minor amendment as set out in the additional papers.

 

 

44.

Council Delivery Plan 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Housing and Customer Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor N Rushton presented the report to Members.

 

A full and lengthy debate was held which received some support but some reservations were expressed over the detail and what some members felt were omissions.

 

It was moved by Councillor N Rushton, seconded by Councillor V Richichi and by a vote of 19 for, 4 against and 12 abstentions it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED THAT: The Council Delivery Plan 2020/21 be adopted.

 

 

45.

Establishment of Company to be Known as 'EM DEVCO LIMITED' pdf icon PDF 386 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Place

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor R Ashman presented the report to Members.

 

A full and lengthy debate was held which received much support but some reservations were expressed, particularly over the costs, sourcing of funding for the Council’s contribution, and on deliverability of the proposals considering external factors such those relating to HS2. But in the main it was felt it was better to be ‘in the tent’ than ‘outside of it’ in order that the Council can have some influence on the outcomes.

 

It was moved by Councillor R Ashman, seconded by Councillor D Harrison and by a vote of 30 for and 4 against it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED THAT: Council

 

(1)         Notes the work that has been done to date on this project and the recommendations from Cabinet at its meeting on 10th November 2020 as detailed in the update report;

 

(2)         Approves making a financial contribution of £500,000 to support the Interim Vehicle over the next 3 years, with the additional funding required to be allocated          through the reallocation of existing economic development earmarked reserves no longer required and subject to the agreed funding contributions from other affected local authorities and Government funding being secured;

 

(3)         Approves the Council to join the Interim Vehicle and participate in the     incorporation of it;

 

(4)          Approves in principle to the Council entering into the Members’            Agreement and participating in the incorporation of the Interim      Vehicle CLG and delegates authority for agreeing the final form of            the Members’ Agreement and articles of association to the Strategic Director (Place) in consultation with the Planning and Infrastructure         Portfolio Holder;

 

(5)         Notes the proposal to appoint the Portfolio holder for Planning and Infrastructure as Director of the Interim Vehicle by Cabinet at its meeting on 10 November 2020.

 

 

 

46.

Notification of Urgent Decisions pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Report of the Chief Executive

Minutes:

Councillor R Ashman presented the report to Members.

 

It was moved by Councillor R Ashman, seconded by Councillor N Rushton and by affirmation of the meeting it was

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The report be noted.

 

47.

Appointments to the Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Report of the Chief Executive

Minutes:

Councillor R Ashman presented the report to Members.

 

It was moved by Councillor R Ashman, seconded by Councillor T Gillard and by affirmation of the meeting it was

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The appointments of the members of the Independent Remuneration Panel be agreed for a term of office of 18 November 2020 to 17 November 2024.