MINUTES OF THE LOUTH TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
HELD ONLINE USING THE ZOOM CONFERENCING PLATFORM
ON TUESDAY 30th MARCH 2021
Present The Mayor, Cllr. D. Hobson (DH) (in the chair).
Councillors: Mrs. E. Ballard (EB), J. Baskett (JB), M. Bellwood (MB), L. Cooney (LMC), A. Cox (AC), S. Crew (SC), D. Ford (DF), H. Filer (HF), J. Garrett (JG), D.J.E. Hall (DJEH), G.E. Horton (GEH), D. Jackman (DJ), A. Leonard (AL), Mrs. S.E. Locking (SEL), K. Norman (KN), Mrs. J. Makinson-Sanders (JMS), J. Simmons (JS), F.W.P. Treanor (FWPT), Mrs. P.F. Watson (PFW) and D. Wing (DEW).
Councillors not present: None
The Town Clerk, Mrs. L.M. Phillips, the Town Clerk’s Assistant, Mrs. M.C. Vincent and one member of the public were also present.
298. Apologies for Absence
299. Declarations of Interest / Dispensations
Cllr. Mrs. JMS – item 8 and 11 as a member of ELDC and item 12b as member of the Hubbard’s Hills Trust.
Cllr. AL – item 8 as a member of ELDC and item 12b as member of the Hubbard’s Hills Trust.
Cllr. DEW – item 12b as member of the Hubbard’s Hills Trust.
Cllr. DJEH – items relating to ELDC as a member of ELDC.
300. Council Minutes
It was RESOLVED to approve as a correct record, the notes of the Council Meetings held on the: 2nd March 2021.
301. Committee Minutes
It was RESOLVED to confirm receipt of the minutes and adopt the resolutions contained therein of the following meetings: Planning – 16th February 2021 and Government and Finance – 2nd February 2021.
302. Mayor and Deputy Mayor Elect
It was RESOLVED that Councillor Darren Hobson should be made Mayor Elect for 2021/22 and that Councillor Jeremy Baskett should be made Deputy Mayor Elect for 2021/22.
303. Future Meetings of the Council
The Clerk reported that it was unlikely that any extension would be given to the legislation allowing remote meetings either temporarily or permanently beyond 6th May 2021. It was therefore RESOLVED:
a. Face to Face Meetings – That a return to face to face meetings should be instigated as soon as legislation requires and arrangements can be made to satisfy government recommendations and the Council’s obligations as an employer, relating to Covid-19 such as social distancing, cleaning, checking attendees etc.
b. Zoom Subscription – To renew the Council’s annual subscription to Zoom through LALC.
c. Annual Council Meeting – That should the legislation allowing remote meetings not be extended before 29th April the Annual Council Meeting be brought forward to Thursday 6th May to allow it to take place by Zoom in May.
d. Annual Town Meeting – That the Annual Town Meeting be held by zoom and as usual those organisations who received a grant will be invited to attend to give presentations.
e. Contingency Planning – That where delegated authority is already given to the Town Clerk this also be extended to the Town Clerk’s Assistant and that the Town Clerk and her Assistant also be given delegated authority for the period commencing 7th May 2021 and finishing no longer than 2 months later (notwithstanding relative Government legislation or medical/relevant body advice or best/safe practice) in consultation with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor or the Chairman / Vice Chairman of the respective substantive committees (i.e. Planning, Governance and Finance, Community Resources and Personnel) to undertake day to day, additional and decisive duties (wherever possible and within legal constraints and with the best intentions of public safety and to promote infection control) in order to minimise disruption to service provision and ensure business continuity.
f. AGAR – That the Town Clerk requests an extension from the external auditors to return the Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) which currently has to be signed off by 30th June 2021, if required.
304. Care and Protection of Elderly and Vulnerable People
It was RESOLVED that
a. Louth Town Council send a letter lending its support to ELDC who has written to Victoria Atkins MP and Matt Warman MP to express its concern about the amount of unsolicited nuisance phone calls received by the elderly and vulnerable people and the amount who from this are persuaded/conned out of their money and savings.
b. That a page would be added to the Town Council’s website signposting those with concerns regarding unsolicited mail and nuisance phone calls to organisations offering support and advice and that links to the web page would also be posted on the Council’s Facebook page.
305. All Weather AstroTurf Pitch London Road
It was RESOLVED that the Town Councillors (also District Councillors) Cllrs: GEH, AL and Mrs. JMS who are involved in the above through the District Council bring reports back to the Town Council on the progress being made on the replacement AstroTurf by Magna Vitae.
306. Louth Best Loved Tree Competition
It was RESOLVED that Louth Town Council support this competition in principle and could assist as follows:
a. Promoting the competition’s launch and judging.
b. Supplying a judge (perhaps one of the Councillors involved in Hubbard’s Hills as suggested or the Mayor).
c. The Mayor would assist in presenting the prizes.
d. Offer advice, if it could (having held the Lovely Louth competition).
NB. Cllr. HF left during this item at 8:26pm.
307. Pedestrianisation of Louth
Due to the concerns that a lack of information had been supplied by Lincolnshire County Council, it was RESOLVED to defer this item until the next Planning Meeting and in the meantime contact LCC requesting far more detail on the plan and maps of the complete area. It was noted the deadline date for the return of the survey was 16th May 2021.
The Town Clerk presented a written report on progress to date. It was RESOLVED that the Town Council would continue to keep a record of reported instances of graffiti and pass these on to Lincolnshire County Council and East Lindsey District Council for their action.
309. Closed Session
It was RESOLVED to go into Closed Session in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 due to the business to be discussed in the following item, information being of a legal, confidential, or third party and sensitive nature in relation to:
a. Request from the Deputy Monitoring Officer – A letter was read out to all Town Councillors by the Town Clerk.
b. Hubbard’s Hills – it was RESOLVED:
i) that a number of further questions be put to the solicitor undertaking the independent review; and
ii) that in order not to breach the current contract, the Council meet the Hubbard’s Hills Trust’s request for funds in full by adding £10,000 from reserves to the £35,000 budgeted for in 2021/22 and that as per the agreement, the first payment be made by 30th April 2021, in the sum of £22,500.
NB: Cllr. KN left during item (a) at 9:45pm. Cllr. DEW left the meeting, Cllrs. AL and Mrs. JMS went into the ‘waiting room’ before item (b) at 9:55pm. Cllrs. DF and LMC (10:37pm) left the meeting during Closed Session.
It was RESOLVED to suspend Standing Orders as the meeting was approaching the 3 hour point so that it could continue.
NB: Cllrs. AL (10:46pm) and Mrs. JMS (10:48pm) returned to the meeting from the waiting room.
It was RESOLVED to come out of Closed Session.
310. Next Meeting
The Council noted that the date of the next scheduled Council Meeting was 18th May 2021.
The Meeting Closed at 10:48pm.
Signed_______________________ (Chairman) Dated_________________________