MINUTES OF THE LOUTH TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
HELD ONLINE USING THE ZOOM CONFERENCING PLATFORM
ON TUESDAY 28th JULY 2020
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), H. Filer (HF), D. Ford (DF), D.J.E. Hall (DJEH), G.E. Horton (GEH), A. Leonard (AL), Mrs. S.E. Locking (SEL), Mrs. J. Makinson-Sanders (JMS), K. Norman (KN), J. Simmons (JS) and F.W.P. Treanor (FWPT).
Councillors not present: J. Garrett (JG), D. Jackman (DJ), Mrs. P.F. Watson (PFW) and D. Wing (DEW).
The Town Clerk, Mrs. L.M. Phillips and the Town Clerk’s Assistant, Mrs. M. Vincent were also present.
76. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors: JG, Mrs. PFW and DEW.
77. Declarations of Interest / Dispensations
78. Consultation on Model Code of Conduct
The Council went through a questionnaire written by the Local Government Association consulting on a new model code of conduct. It was RESOLVED to agree on the following answers to the questionnaire:
1) To a great extent. 1a) To be clear on social media past, present and future. 2) Yes 3) Use passive tense 4) To a great extent for all 5) Not exerting undue influence by using their position. When using social media, make it clear when speaking as a councillor 6) Each specific obligation followed by guidance 7) To a great extent 7a) alternative word would be respect 8) To a great extent 8a) N/A 9) To a great extent 9a) N/A 10) No 10a) Integrated into the Code 10b) The use of social media is a very important issue and covers such a wide spectrum, much more guidance is required to provide clarity. 11) To a moderate extent 11a) This is for the moral judgement of each individual. If the current requirement is changed any guidance should not include use of the term extended family, guidance will need to be specific. 12) In the main body of the Code 12a) The ramifications of someone not declaring should be made clear and that it could bounce back on the Council and bring the Council into disrepute. 13) To a great extent on all points. 13a) N/A 14) To a great extent 14a) N/A 15) Yes 16) in order of most important: Supplementary guidance that focuses on specific areas e.g., social media, Improvement support materials, such as training and e-learning packages, Explanatory guidance on the code, Case studies and examples of good practice, Regularly updated examples of case law. 16a) N/A 17) The Code once implemented should be adjudicated by the Monitoring Officer and higher officials at District level.
NB During this item Cllr. AC left at 8:28pm. At the end of this item Cllr. GEH left at 20:39 for five minutes and then returned.
79. Tribute to Key Workers
Councillors discussed ways to pay tribute to all local key workers who had assisted the town during the Covid-19 crisis. Councillors supported the idea of paying tribute in principle but wished to have more time to consider an appropriate way and budget for the expense. They also felt that with the danger not entirely over the time was not quite right to move forward. It was RESOLVED to withdraw this item and bring back at a later date.
80. Grant Applications
The Council received a report from the Town Clerk with recommendations from her and FOG. It was RESOLVED to agree all recommendations (listed below) and then review at budget time if the grant scheme should be abolished due to the work generated for such a small benefit.
a) Following the deadline for receipt of applications, FOG meet to go through the applications and at this meeting they compile a schedule which details who has applied, what they have asked for, how much they would like, what funds they have etc., etc.
b) When this has been compiled, a special meeting of the GF Committee is called to discuss the applications. All applications will be available to view at the meeting.
c) This meeting will go into closed session while discussion of each organisation’s individual circumstances and finances takes place and amounts to be awarded are debated.
d) When each application has been discussed individually a resolution on each amount to be awarded will be made, this to be done in open session.
e) That the Town Clerk be given delegated authority to amend the application form as required, including C, D, and E of the report.
f) Applications to be available to download from the website or collect from the office from 3rd August 2020.
g) Closing date for receipt of completed applications – noon on Monday 5th October 2020
81. 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 confidential, commercial, third party and sensitive nature in relation to:
a. Old Mill House
The Mayor reminded Councillors of the background to this item. It was RESOLVED to
i) Note that the Council has an obligation to ensure that it complies with the LGA 1972.
ii) Note the situation, timeframes and ramifications regarding correspondence served on the Council’s solicitors
iii) Confirm the Council’s acceptance that the Notice of Claim is valid and that there is an entitlement to acquire.
iv) Agree that correspondence held in relation to a disclaimer be disclosed along with the points addressed by the barrister in his recent advice re. validity, as required.
v) Authorise expenditure on further advice from the barrister, if required. Fee estimate ranging from £500 + VAT to £1,250 + VAT.
vi) Engage the services of the District Valuer cost estimated to be in the region of £1,000 + VAT.
vii) Note the Solicitors legal advice.
viii) Give delegated authority to the Town Clerk and her Assistant to progress matters in line with the resolutions above and in conjunction with the Mayor and Chairman of the Community Resources Committee, as required.
It was RESOLVED to come out of Closed Session.
82. Next Meeting
The Council noted that the date of the next scheduled Council Meeting was 8th September 2020.
The Meeting Closed at 9:46pm.
Signed_______________________ (Chairman) Dated_________________________