Agenda and minutes

Leighton-Linslade Town Council - Monday, 31st January, 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Astral Park Sports & Community Centre, Johnson Drive, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 4AY

Contact: Committee Officer  01525 631920 & Email: info@leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

280.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a record be kept of the Members present and that this record form part of the minutes of the meeting. Members who cannot attend a meeting should tender apologies to the Town Clerk.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence for the meeting had been received from Councillors K Cursons, B Spurr, C Palmer and R Yates.

 

281.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

(i)    Under the Localism Act 2011 (sections 26-37 and Schedule 4) and in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare any interests which are not currently entered in the Member’s Register of Interests or if he/she has not notified the Monitoring Officer of it.

 

(ii)   Should any Member have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in an item on the agenda, the Member may not participate in consideration of that item unless a Dispensation has first been requested (in writing) and granted by the Council (see Dispensation Procedure).

Minutes:

Councillor V Harvey declared a personal interest as a member of South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth and The Leighton Buzzard Society.  

 

Councillor R Berry declared an interest in agenda item 12 (Governance review) as Chair of the Central Bedfordshire General Purposes Committee and would abstain from voting on this item. 

 

No pecuniary interests were declared and no dispensations had been requested.

282.

TOWN MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes:

Councillor Kharawala advised the Council that after a busy run up to Christmas attending numerous events, January was quieter due to the emergence of the new variant of coronavirus. 

 

Looking forward two events had been organised in the next couple of months, being a Charity Meal on the 23 February and a Quiz on the 11 March. Also  the celebration of International Women’s Day would take place on the 8 March and the week beginning  7 February was  Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week and support for these would be greatly appreciated by Members.

 

283.

LEADERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes:

Councillor S Jones, Leader of the Conservative group, informed members how pleased he was to see Leighton-Linslade Helpers represented at the Royal Carol Service at Westminster Abbey.  Councillor Jones emphasised how important decisions were to be made at tonight’s meeting especially regarding the budget.

 

Councillor R Goodchild, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, agreed with Councillor Jones on the importance of the decisions agreed at this meeting especially the budget.

 

Councillor P Carberry spoke on behalf of the Labour Group to personally thank all Councillors and Officers for their condolences and messages of support given to him.

 

 He also informed the Council that the commemorative bench for Walter (Wally) Randall had been delivered and it was hoped this would be put in place in March.  The family was happy with it and with the agreed inscription on the bench.

 

He also requested with the start of LGBT History Month tomorrow it would be good to see the relevant flag flying above The White House again.

 

284.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

To receive questions and statements from members of the public as provided for in Standing Order Nos.3 (e)(f)(g) and 3(h).

 

Members of the public are very welcome to attend the meeting but are asked to note that attendance numbers are limited. Please contact us to advise if you wish to attend before 4pm on the day of the meeting. Written representations may also be submitted before 4pm on the day of the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

A member of the public and business owner in the town centre spoke in support of the pedestrianisation of the High Street.  She felt her business had flourished because customers now walked through the town and had time to browse and were more likely to visit the independent businesses and spend their money.  She felt the traffic free environment was a huge improvement, being safer for families and more environmentally friendly by reducing fumes and pollution.

 

The lady was thanked by Councillors for attending the meeting.

 

285.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 344 KB

(a)      To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Council meeting held on 29 November 2021 (attached) in accordance with Standing Order 12.

(b)     To receive information updates on matters arising from the previous meeting (if appropriate).

 

Minutes:

Council received the draft minutes of the Council meeting held on 29 November 2021.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 29 November be approved as a correct record and were signed accordingly.

 

Minute reference 268: negotiations were ongoing with Central Bedfordshire Council and it was noted that their planning application for development of social housing at Vandyke Road had been approved. Council was advised that should the land sale proceed, clarification would be sought regarding legislation in respect of use of capital receipts.

 

286.

2022-23 RISK REGISTER AND ACTION PLAN pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Further to the report presented to the Policy and Finance Committee on 24 January 2022, to receive and consider approval of the 2022-23 Risk Register and Action Plan (attached).

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council received and considered the 2022-2023 Risk Register and Action Plan presented to the Policy and Finance Committee at its informal session on 24 January 2022.

 

RESOLVED to endorse the Risk Register Action Plan for 2022-2023, to be signed by the Town Mayor and the Responsible Finance Officer.

 

287.

2022 COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER NOMINATIONS pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Further to the information presented to the Policy and Finance Committee on 24 January 2022, to receive and consider approval of nominations for the 2022 Community Volunteer awards (information to follow).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council received and considered approval of nominations for the 2022 Community Volunteer awards as presented to Policy & Finance at its informal session on 24 January 2022.  On being put to a vote the recommendations were carried unanimously. The awards would be presented at the Civic Service on 15 May.

 

RESOLVED to award the 2022 Community Volunteer Awards to Caryn Fripp and Pamela Brown.

 

288.

PARTNERSHIP PROJECT LIST pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Further to the resolutions made by Council on 29 November 2021, to consider       approval of the updated Partnership Project List (attached) and to note that projects identified at that meeting as “category A” (overwhelming town council interest) will be added to the standing committee work plans for 2022-23.

 

Minutes:

Council received the updated Partnership Project List following resolutions made by Council on 29 November 2021. The updated document had had the obsolete objectives deleted, as well as the projects identified ‘category A’ (overwhelming town council interest), which would now be added to the standing committee work plans for 2022-2023.

 

RESOLVED to endorse the updated Partnership Project List.

 

289.

BUDGET AND PRECEPT FOR 2022-2023 pdf icon PDF 413 KB

Further to the report presented to the Policy and Finance Committee on 24 January 2022 (report and draft budget attached), to consider any recommendations from that Committee and to:

 

i)          approve the budget for 2022-2023

ii)         set the precept demand for 2022-2023

iii)        authorise the Town Clerk to submit the precept demand for 2022-2023

            to Central Bedfordshire Council.    

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council received a report and a proposed budget and precept for the financial year 2022-2023.  It was noted that the proposed budget had been reviewed and recommended by Town Council standing committees. Discussion took place in which the pressure of increasing costs was recognised, for both the Council and for residents.  Councillors expressed a wish to ensure that all Town Council services and community projects including community grants and free community events be continued for the benefit of residents, as well as continued investment into community facilities.

 

It was noted that the possibility of splitting budget line Community Safety 4401/410 into two separate lines, one for the Operation Dodford agreement with Bedfordshire Police and one for other community safety initiatives, had been discussed at the informal meeting of the Community Safety Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee could discuss this further at its April meeting when the Operation Dodford for 2022-23 would also be considered.

 

On being proposed and seconded, the budget was endorsed, with all expenditure after predicted income to be met via the precept (10 in favour, 1 against, 6 abstentions).

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)           To note the report and budgetary recommendations made by the other committees with budgetary responsibilities.

(ii)          To approve the proposed expenditure budget of £2,691,916 and proposed income budget of £267,662 for the Financial Year 2022-23.

(iii)        To approve the precepting amount of £2,424,254, which Central Bedfordshire Council will collect on behalf of the Town Council for the Financial Year 2022-23, equating to an increase of £8.76 per year (5.6%) from £155.50 to £164.26 (Band D equivalent) for the Financial Year 2022-23.

(iv)        To authorise the Town Clerk to submit the precept demand for 2022-2023 to Central Bedfordshire Council.

 

290.

MEETINGS FROM FEBRUARY 2022 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To receive a report regarding format of Council/Committee meetings from 1 February 2022 (attached) and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

 

 

Minutes:

Council received a report to consider the format of meetings/decision making from 1 February 2022 in the context of the Covid pandemic, given the recent changes in Government guidance and gradual reduction of cases of the latest variant.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)        To endorse a return to face-to-face meetings as per the agreed Calendar of Meetings with effect from 1 February 2022 to allow for decision making in accordance with LGA 1972, with any public health guidance relating to the Covid-19 pandemic to be take into account (e.g. mitigation measures).

 

(ii)      That as set out in Standing Order 15 c) (vii), should conditions change it be deemed not possible to hold a face to face meeting, decisions to be delegated to the Town Clerk with email approval from elected Members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

291.

BOUNDARY REVIEW CONSULTATION

To consider whether to submit a formal response to the Central Bedfordshire Council stage 2 consultation regarding a boundary review for Eggington and Leighton-Linslade (information at: https://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/info/38/consultations/1092/eggington_community_governance_review_stage_2 )

Minutes:

Council received and considered a report prepared by Councillors to submit a formal response to Central Bedfordshire Council in respect of the Leighton Buzzard/Eggington Boundary Review consultation. The report set out the background context of the request for a boundary change as well as focussing on the Local Government Boundary Commission for England guidance on community governance reviews. Council members spoke to express support for the document, the creation of which had been led by Councillor R Goodchild with input from several other elected Members. Endorsement of the submission was proposed by Councillor Goodchild and seconded by Councillor Jones.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)        That this Council adopts the amended document “Response to Central Bedfordshire Council Community Governance Review – stage 1” and authorises the Town Clerk to issue the same under cover of a letter to Central Bedfordshire Council, urging them to give due consideration to the document, to reverse their recommendation for no change to the boundary and to agree to this Council’s application to change the parish boundary to incorporate the Clipstone Park, Stearn Land, Leedon and the Pastures development area following the stage 2 consultation.

(ii)      That this Council reserves the right to instigate proceedings such as a Judicial Review to challenge any recommendation by Central Bedfordshire Council relating to the above.

 

292.

COMMITTEE MINUTES pdf icon PDF 227 KB

(i)         To receive and note the Minutes of Committee meetings held between 1 October 2021 - 24 January 2022 as specified below (attached).

(ii)        To consider the recommendations contained in committee minutes which have not already been resolved, as specified below.

(iii)       To receive any relevant verbal updates from officers or Committee Chairs and any councillor comments or questions relating to the below minutes.

 

a)         Planning & Transport Committee       4 October 2021

b)         Planning & Transport Committee       27 October 2021

c)         Planning & Transport Committee       17 November 2021

d)         Policy & Finance Committee              22 November 2021

Recommendation at 298/PF (Flexible Working Policy – attached)

e)         Grounds & Environmental Committee  6 December 2021

f)          Planning & Transport Committee       8 December 2021      

g)         Cultural & Economic Committee        13 December 2021

(minutes of informal discussion; resolutions made by delegated decision with email approval from committee members due to rising Covid-19 cases)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(i)            Council received the minutes of the Committee meetings held since 1 October to 24 January 2022.

 

RESOLVED to receive the minutes of the following Committee meetings held between 1 October 2021 and 24 January 2022:

 

a)        Planning & Transport Committee                        4 October 2021

b)        Planning & Transport Committee                        27 October 2021

c)        Planning & Transport Committee                        17 November 2021

d)        Policy & Finance Committee                                 22 November 2021

e)        Grounds & Environmental Committee               6 December 2021

f)         Planning & Transport Committee                        8 December 2021  

 

RESOLVED to receive the notes of the informal Cultural & Economic Committee discussion held 13 December 2021.

 

(ii)          Council gave consideration to the recommendations contained within committee minutes which had not already been dealt with as specific agenda items.

 

Policy & Finance Committee 22 November 2021 – minute reference 298/PF

 

RESOLVED to adopt the Flexible Working Policy.

 

(iii)         Two minor amendments to committee minutes in respect of councillor attendance were suggested and would be looked into.

293.

DELEGATED DECISIONS pdf icon PDF 267 KB

To receive and note delegated decisions made on behalf of Council/committees in accordance with the agreed procedure since October 2021 (attached).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council received and noted the delegated decisions made on behalf of Council/committees in accordance with the procedure approved by Council since October 21 2021.

 

RESOLVED to note the delegated decisions made in the period October 2021 to January 2022 in accordance with the scheme of delegation approved by Council in March 2021 and set out in Standing Order 15(c).

 

It was noted that two recommendations to Council had been endorsed by the Policy and Finance Committee and these were approved by Council.

 

RESOLVED to approve the Calendar of Meetings for 2022-2023.

 

RESOLVED to endorse the continuation of the Older Persons Sub-Committee until the Annual Council Meeting in May 2023.

 

 

294.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS

To receive questions from Councillors to the Chairman as provided for in Standing Order 27, provided three clear days’ notice of the question has been given.

Minutes:

Councillor V Harvey read out questions submitted in advance of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 27:

 

“Can we have an update  from  this  Conservative administration/leadership that includes  Conservative Councillors, who also have senior positions in Central Bedfordshire Council, on  the progress  and plans for the High Street which includes   an explanation of the  lack of delivery  as well as  clarity  on whether this council  will actively pursue partnership working with CBC to deliver the best for the town or whether due to  choosing not  to  fund   adequate levels of  staff it  is choosing  a blame  culture  towards CBC and lack of positive cooperation which will harm our town centre.

 

This includes:

  • An update on the plans discussed in light of the levelling up fund of over £50,000 which were eagerly supported cross party by the majority of Councillors and the lack of delivery of those plans and what   funds are outstanding and what is planned for them.
  • In light of the challenges with the fund why can’t the LLTC itself do a deep clean of the high street as was so supported by councillors.
  • Why was the Conservative leadership   so keen not to spend available money of its own on any benches to support the high street temporary pedestrianisation last year and as a result has waited until the scheme was nearly over before benches were installed to the detriment of disabled residents and those who want to enjoy the town centre.
  • Why are the benches placed in such odd positions that make it difficult to engage with others or take part in listening to entertainment?
  • Are they aware of the negative impact of the placing of the benches on the shopkeepers and on future partnership working?
  • Why has the Conservative leadership been so keen not to adopt the planters in the high street or to  find an alternative solution resulting in  planters that look very uncared for in the centre of the town?

 

A written response would be provided to Councillor Harvey and all Members within the required ten working days.

 

 

295.

APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEES

Minutes:

There were no changes to appointments to committees

 

296.

APPOINTMENTS TO/REPORTS FROM OUTSIDE BODIES

 

 

 

 

The meeting is due to end by 2200 hours at the latest unless Standing Order 3(x) is suspended before this time.

 

Minutes:

There were no changes to appointments to outside bodies. A number of brief reports were given by councillors in respect of outside bodies.

 

297.

LEIGHTON BUZZARD TOWN CENTRE TRAFFIC ORDERS pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To review the Central Bedfordshire Council report dated 24 January 2022 on Leighton Buzzard town centre traffic orders (attached), to be presented to the CBC Traffic Management Meeting on 1 February 2022 and to consider next steps.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council received a copy of the officer report being presented to the Central Bedfordshire Council Traffic Management Meeting on 1 February 2022 in respect of the temporary pedestrianisation of the High Street and the temporary traffic order relating to Lake Street. Council received a document analysing the key points of the report and a proposed Motion for consideration from Councillor S Owen, seconded by Councillor R Goodchild.

 

A number of points were proposed as a representation from the town council to the Traffic Management Meeting on 1 February.

 

Significant discussion took place with a range of views being expressed and a recognition that this was a complex issue with many factors requiring consideration. There was agreement that further discussion and work was needed in order to develop a viable plan for the future of the High Street which would be beneficial to all users.

 

RESOLVED to suspend Standing Order 3 (x) for 15 minutes to allow completion of the agenda item.

 

Following discussion, it was proposed that each part of the Motion be voted upon separately.

 

RESOLVED that the Town Council requests the Town Mayor to present the following comments to the Central Bedfordshire Council Traffic Management Meeting on 1 February 2022:

 

“LEIGHTON BUZZARD TOWN CENTRE TRAFFIC ORDERS (Item 5 on agenda for 1 February)

Leighton-Linslade Town Council:

 

a)    suggests that a 12 month ETRO be put in place for the High Street, to allow time for consideration of future options.

b)   supports the recommendation to return buses to the High Street, using the existing High Street bus stops, along with the resulting necessary move of the taxis back to Market Square, in order to reverse the drop in bus usage and its effect on High Street footfall

c)    supports the report’s intention to review the adequacy of facilities i.e. seating and shelters at both the High Street and West Street bus stops

d)    asks CBC to permit bus usage of the High Street for 5 days a week, i.e. excluding Tuesday and Saturday market days

e)    asks CBC to ensure that the traffic signage in Lake Street during the ETRO is clear and adequate

f)     urges CBC to commit to effective management of public compliance with the new ETRO to avoid the flouting of the current ETRO

g)    proposes to CBC that the two councils work together during a 12 month ETRO trial period to formulate some strategic options for the future functioning and ambience of the High Street (including pedestrianisation options) that can then be consulted upon with local residents and businesses and other interest groups including the bus companies and cyclists.”

 

Two parts of the proposed Motion were not carried:

 

- asks CBC to restore all bus services other than on Tuesdays and Saturdays to the High Street to avoid passengers, particularly older ones, having to walk between the High Street and West Street stops if they are using local and through bus services for a journey.

- asks that blue badge holders be allowed to use  ...  view the full minutes text for item 297.