Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Coalville

Contact: Democratic Services  01530 454512


No. Item


Appointment of Chair


Members were informed of apologies received from both the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Committee and were therefore asked for nominations for a Chair for the remainder of the meeting.


It was moved by Councillor A Bridgen, seconded by Councillor V Richichi and




Councillor J Bridges take the Chair for the remainder of the meeting.



Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors R Boam, Harrison-Rushton and N Smith.


It was noted that Councillor N Smith was currently unwell, and the Committee joined the Chair in sending him their best wishes.


Declaration of Interests

Under the Code of Conduct members are reminded that in declaring disclosable interests you should make clear the nature of that interest and whether it is pecuniary or non-pecuniary.


Following advice from the Monitoring Officer, Councillor S Sheahan declared an interest in item 6 – Draft Budget Proposals and Council Tax 2021/22 as a property owner affected by the proposed HS2 route.  If a discussion was had on this matter directly during the item, he would leave the meeting and not take part in the debate.


Following advice from the Monitoring Officer, Councillor M B Wyatt declared an interest in item 6 - Draft Budget Proposals and Council Tax 2021/22 as a business owner in Coalville Town Centre.  If a discussion was had on this matter directly during the item, he would leave the meeting and not take part in the debate


Public Question and Answer Session

To receive questions from members of the public under rule no.10 of the Council Procedure Rules. The procedure rule provides that members of the public may ask 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.





Minutes pdf icon PDF 202 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on


Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 10 November 2021. 


It was moved by Councillor G Hoult, seconded by Councillor A C Saffell and




The minutes of the meeting held on 10 November 2021 be approved as a correct record.


Items for Inclusion in the Future Work Programme pdf icon PDF 448 KB

To consider any items to be included in the work programme. The plan of forthcoming Cabinet decisions and the current work programme are attached for information.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the inclusion of any items to the work programme.  The plan of forthcoming Cabinet decisions and the current work programme were set out in the agenda for information.


A concern was raised on the earlier budget reporting timescales than in previous years considering the uncertainty of the funding position.  The Head of Finance reported that although the funding for the general fund was uncertain at the time the report was published, the Local Government Finance Settlement was expected the following week and once received, all Members would receive a thorough briefing note.    


Draft Budget Proposals and Council Tax 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 653 KB

Report of the Head of Finance

Additional documents:


The Head of Finance presented the report to Members outlining the draft budget proposals for the financial year 2022/23.


During the full discussion, several questions of clarity were sought and answered by the Head of Finance or appropriate Head of Service. 


The following comments were made in relation to the draft General Fund Budget 2022/23:


In relation to the significant amount of funds held in the Journey to Self Sufficiency fund, as well as reserves, it was questioned if more should be being spent in the district.  The Head of Finance agreed to pass this comment onto Cabinet.


It was confirmed that the additional cost reported for Customer services included the use of the business unit in Coaville town centre for the Customer Services Centre. A Member felt that they had been misinformed during conversations earlier in the year in relation to the budget available for the use of this business unit.  The Chair noted the comment and asked officers to provide a response outside of the meeting.


The purchase of the Marlborough Square unit for renovation was noted, Members were pleased with the outcome as the unit was currently in a poor state and made the area look untidy.


It was asked if consideration had been given to increasing business rates or decreasing business rate relief due to the reduction in New Homes Bonus and other revenue income.  The Head of Finance confirmed that business rates were set by central government and therefore as a local authority, there was no power to control it.


A discussion was had on the percentage of business rates retained by local authorities, and it was confirmed that it was unlikely to change from the current rate of 50 percent.  It was noted that a small percentage of any growth was also retained.  A Member raised concerns of the continuing use of the New Homes Bonus for the general fund due to the uncertainty of it. 


A concern was raised about the ongoing financial impact of Covid-19 as it was hardly mentioned throughout the report, officers were asked if the proposals made any allowances for the future costs.  The Head of Finance responded that funds had already been received to cover some of the costs and there would be a continued 71.5 percent compensation for loss of income, however there was no compensation for loss of leisure income.  In response to a further question, it was confirmed that the budget shortfall was largely down to Covid-19 related losses and the Head of Finance was not currently aware of any other significant funding available, therefore the Council would need to bear these costs.   


In response to a question about the additional costs under service development for the Coalville feasibility study, the Head of Community Services confirmed that it was a different piece of work to that done previously which was looking at how the decommissioned Hermitage Leisure Centre could be linked into the regeneration of the area.  This was still very much a work in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Customer Services Strategy pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Report of the Strategic Director

Additional documents:


The Customer Services Lead presented the report to Members providing an overview of the proposed strategy.


A concern was raised about the proposed new way of working, particularly in relation to the relocation of the customer service centre into the town centre of Coalville.  It was claimed that some local residents did not support the use of a business unit in the town centre for this purpose.  An observation was also made on the use of the five priorities within the Council’s Delivery Plan that were referred to within the document as it was felt by a Member that there was little evidence to support that these were being achieved.


Officers noted the comments and reminded members that Cabinet had already made the decision about the form and location of services, the report was related to the overall Customer Services Strategy and its delivery.


A comment was made that the strategy needed to be carefully considered to ensure it delivered what promised.  It was agreed that putting the customers at the heart of the service was important, but it should be in conjunction with other priorities as it would not be achieved in isolation.


A suggestion was made to include further detail about how much more efficient the service would be with digitalisation as it was a huge move forward and therefore would be helpful to see the impact.


A discussion was had on the how the digitalisation of the service would affect the people in the district that are unable to access services, some concerns were expressed that these people would be left behind.  Members were reassured that the strategy did recognise that there would always be customers who would require face to face or telephone support and this service would continue to be available.  Members were reminded that there was a three-year digitalisation plan in progress which included an element of support for residents to enable them to learn how to self-serve which would benefit them as well as the Council.  The Portfolio Holder acknowledged the concerns and also reassured Members that support would be available for residents in whichever form they required.


A suggestion was made to supply these services in other areas of the district to allow residents outside of Coalville easier access to the face-to-face support. Members were reminded of the survey work informing the strategy which highlighted that the need identified for face to face in other locations was very low.


A Member urged officers to ensure that the system used for self-serve was accessible on all user platforms as it was important to not put obstacles in people’s way that could deter them from using the service.


During a discussion on the format of the strategy, a comment was made that it was a lengthy document that contained technical language.  It was also felt that more detail on the three-year plan could have been included.


The cost of educating residents in the use of self-serve was questioned, along with the resources required to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

Councillor E Allman left the meeting at 8.06pm following the conclusion of Draft Budget Proposals and Council Tax 2022/23 item.