Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Offices, Newland, Lincoln LN1 1YL. View directions

Contact: Emily Wilcox  Democratic Services Officer


No. Item


Apologies for Absence/Replacement Members


Apologies for absence had been received by Councillor B Adams, Councillor Mrs J Brockway, Councillor E W Strengiel and Alex Sayer (Parent Governor Representative).


It was reported that, under Regulation 13 of the Local Government Committee and Political Groups) Regulation 1990, Councillor R A Wright was replacing Councillor E W Strengiel for this meeting only.


It was noted that the Chief Executive had also sent her apologies.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes of the meeting held on 26 August 2021 pdf icon PDF 680 KB




            That minutes of the meeting held on 26 August 2021 be approved as a          correct record and signed by the Chairman. 



Announcements by the Chairman, Executive Councillors and Chief Officers


The Chairman announced that he had attended the last meeting of the Executive on 7 September 2021 to present the Board's comments on the Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring Reports for Quarter 1, highlighting the Board's recognition of the cost pressures in relation to the capital programme due to supply issues, labour shortages and increased costs. The Executive acknowledged that labour shortages in particular were likely to result in some major pressures for the Council and there was a need to examine what mitigating circumstances there were and if the Council would need to do some things differently. A potential risk identified by the Executive for the Council was the shortage of HGV drivers who also doubled up as gritter drivers during winter. The Chairman also highlighted the Board's interest in further examining the forecasted overspend in Fire and Rescue due to long term sickness and the Chief Executive had advised that she had agreed for more detailed work to be carried out in relation to the sickness absence rates and to examine how Fire and Rescue could be supported to reduce its sickness absence.


The Board was advised that within the CIPFA Code of Practice for Treasury Management, which was adopted in the Financial Regulations in the Council's Constitution, it was recommended that all those involved in Treasury Management are suitably trained, including Members. Treasury Management training was therefore being arranged for members of the Board for November. An appointment would be sent out in due course.



Consideration of Call-Ins


None had been received.


Consideration of Councillor Calls for Action


None had been received.


Update on IMT Services - Project Portfolio pdf icon PDF 559 KB

(To receive a report from Donna Fryer, Head of Portfolio and Resources – IMT, which informs the Board on the progress on highlighted projects being commissioned through IMT)


Consideration was given to a report by the Head of Portfolio and Resources – IMT, which provided an update on progress on highlighted projects being commissioned through IMT.


Overall Serco had performed well for the period and had achieved 100% of their targets for their set KPI's from February to September with the exception of IMT_KPI_11 which had not met the target in August 2021 due to mitigating circumstances.


The Head of Portfolio and Resources – IMT was pleased to report that there were no projects currently at red status, and only one project at amber status, which was IMT -485-2006 – Civica CRM Integration. IMT continued to work with Legal Services and a plan had been put in place to migrate legal services staff to their new case work solution.


The Board was advised that there had been an increase in activity within project work as the Council entered the recovery phase of Covid-19.


The Board considered the report and during the discussion the following points were noted:


·         Concerns were raised about the detail of the case management system that had been installed as part of the Civica CRM Integration within Legal Services following some initial miscommunications as to whether the system would work using the current desktop system. Members were reassured that testing had now been carried out and a plan was in place to resolve the issues, which involved moving colleagues to Modern Desktop Management with Microsoft 365. It was hoped that the work would be completed by November 2021. It was agreed that a further progress report be circulated to the Board along with the Leader of the Council. Going forward, officers felt it was important to ensure that they were adequately resourced and could meet the demands of the service following an increase in projects.

·         Officers were looking at potential contract options as the Council approached the end of its contract extension with Serco.

·         The Board wished to be kept up to date with any projects or areas of concern within IMT. The Assistant Director – IMT and Enterprise Architecture suggested that the Board be updated on the progress and detail of the IMT strategy. 




            That the report be noted.


Treasury Management Performance Quarter 1 to 30 June - 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 671 KB

(To receive a report from Karen Tonge, Treasury Manager, which details the treasury management activities and performance for Quarter 1 of 2021/22 to 30 June 2021)

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report by the Treasury Manager, which invited the Board to note the Treasury Management Performance for Quarter 1 to 30 June 2021/22 and pass on any comments to the Executive Councillor for Resources, Communications and Commissioning.


The Board was advised that interest rates had remained low as had been forecasted in the strategy; long term rates were at their lowest point at the end of August and the first forecast of short term base rate was now forecast to be in June 2023.


The recent inflationary pressure had seen markets predict an increase in short term base rate as early as February 2022.


The Council's cash balances remained high and the borrowing requirement was estimated to be around  £90m.


The Executive Director – Resources made reference to the work that was on-going around the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Treasury Management code of practice and Prudential Code, and confirmed that the changes in the codes would have minimal impact on the borrowing and investment operations of Lincolnshire County Council.


Members were encouraged to attend the Treasury Management training event organised for November 2021 that would ensure members were adequately trained and well skilled when considering treasury management  information. This being a new requirement of the new CIPFA Treasury Management Code. 


Members considered the report and during the discussion the following points were noted:


·         The way in which the market was reacting to a potential increase in interest rates provided possible opportunities for the Council to secure long term investments at higher rates  over  benchmark levels. It was part of usual treasury management practices to assess the market and take advantage of advice where possible.

·         Providing local authorities could demonstrate they had practiced good governance and risk management when undertaking investments for commercial activities, there should be minimal impact as a result of the changes to the CIPFA code of conduct. CIPFA and the Government were aiming to target authorities which were carrying out high risk activity purely to create a return. 

·         The Board suggested that commercial investments within local authorities must provide an added benefit for local areas, such as investing in jobs or wealth creation. 

·         There was much uncertainty surrounding the Government's budget announcement, with efficiencies expected.  The Executive Director – Resources informed the Board that following the recent announcements around social care reform, it was understood that there would be potential flexibilities within the adult care precept as well as potential for a review on business rates resets, which Lincolnshire County Council relied on heavily.

·         The Leader of the Council echoed the comments made by the Executive Director – Resources. It was likely that savings would need to be made within the Council. For rural counties the reintroduction of highways maintenance funding was important as it had been cut this year creating additional budgetary pressures. It was hoped that a further announcement on what would be included within the Budget would be made by the end of the calendar year.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.


Proposals for Scrutiny Reviews pdf icon PDF 756 KB

(To receive a report from Nigel West, Head of Democratic Services and Statutory Scrutiny Officer, which enables the Board to consider an evaluation of all of the potential topics for scrutiny reviews that have been identified and to agree which reviews should be undertaken by the Council's two Scrutiny Panels)



Consideration was given a report by the Head of Democratic Services Officers and Statutory Scrutiny Officer which invited the Board to consider an evaluation of all of the potential topics for scrutiny reviews that had been identified and to agree which reviews should be undertaken by the Council's two Scrutiny Panels.


Members were invited to agree topics for future scrutiny reviews to be undertaken by the Scrutiny Panels and to agree the draft terms of reference for the scrutiny reviews subject to a final version being agreed with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board.


The proposed topics were


·         Lincolnshire Agricultural Sector support

·         Town Centre Improvements

·         Capital Programme Planning

·         Young Carers

·         Restoring Family Relationships

·         Recycling Rates in Lincolnshire

·         Traffic Speed Management Review in Lincolnshire

·         Community Engagement

·         Increased numbers of Domestic Abuse during the Covid-19 Pandemic – support available to individuals



A priority matrix had been set out at Appendix A.


Members considered the report and during the discussion the following points were noted:


·         The Board nominated Lincolnshire Agricultural Sector support as a topic for review for a number of reasons, including the rise in mental health issues and labour shortages within the agricultural sector.

·         One Member questioned whether it was the right time to further investigate the issues within the sector given that it was heavily led by changes from central Government.

·         Support was given to the topic of town centre improvements as it was seen as an opportunity to stimulate employment and open town centres up to younger generations.

·         The Policy Advisor agreed to circulate the criteria for comparing urban and rural areas.

·         It was suggested that the Council had a responsibility to help young people in Lincolnshire, particularly given the impact of the pandemic. Therefore it was proposed that young carers be considered as a topic.

·         It was suggested that officers begin to consider possible topics for the reviews due to commence in April 2021 to ensure reviews could begin in a timely manner.

·         It was emphasised that the future of town centres was closely linked to the demographic future of an area. It was proposed that this be reflected within the terms of reference for that topic.

·         Boston Borough Council and North Kesteven District Council had recently started to collect separate paper and card recycling. It would take some time for the results of the new collections to be clear and therefore it was suggested that the topic of 'recycling rates in Lincolnshire' was not appropriate at this time.

·         It was requested that quantitative data for each potential topic be provided for the next report.


It was proposed and seconded that the Town Centre Improvements and Lincolnshire Agricultural Sector Support be selected as the topics for the scrutiny panels. 


It was agreed that the terms of reference for town centres include the concept of stimulating new business and a focus on reviving retail outlets be the main focus.


For agriculture, the focus should be on carbon neutral and green farming with funding links to provide business  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.


Scrutiny Committee Work Programmes pdf icon PDF 778 KB

(To receive a report which sets out the work programmes of the Adults and Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee and the Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire and in accordance with the Board's agreed programme)



Consideration was given to a report by the Chairman of the Adults and Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee, which provided an update on the work carried out by the Committee.


It was noted that there had been one change to the printed work programme - the recommissioning of the Carers Support Service was now expected on 1 December, with an Executive Councillor decision shortly afterwards. 


A one hour training session for Committee members on the Care Act had been scheduled for 20 October, at the conclusion of the Committee's formal meeting. 


The Board was advised that on 7 September 2021, the government published 'Build Back Better – Our Plan for Health and Social Care'.  In addition to funding for the NHS to reduce its waiting list, this document included a number of proposals for adult social care. More would be reported to the Committee once they had been published.


The Committee had also agreed to set up a working group to look into high levels of sugar consumption and the impact this had on the health and obesity rates in adults. 


Members were invited to ask questions, in which the following points were noted:


·         It was suggested that the working group could also work with children's service on the impact on sugar consumption in children and how this then led to health issues as adults.

·         The Adults and Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee worked to identify key areas which were causing concerns in relation to death and ill health rates in adults.

·         Reducing the number of people who smoked within the county was led by One You Lincolnshire who were proactive in promoting their support for the topic. One You Lincolnshire provided regular updates to the Committee.


Consideration was then given to a report from the Chairman of the Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire which provided an update on the work of the Committee.


The Board was advised that the local NHS was due to launch its consultation on the Lincolnshire Acute Services review, which proposed major changes to four service areas. These four services were:

·         the development of a centre of excellence for Orthopaedic Surgery;

·         the development of a centre of excellence for Stroke Services;

·         an urgent treatment centre at Grantham Hospital, in place of the current A&E department; and

·         the introduction of community as well as acute medical beds at Grantham. 


As a key role for the Committee was responding to NHS consultations, the consultation would form a major element of the Committee's work programme over the coming four months. The Committee would also get the benefit of feedback to the consultation, meaning that the Committee planned to finalise its response on 19 January. The Committee would also be asked on 13 October to establish one or more working groups to consider the detail of each of the four proposals and their rationale. 


The Board was also advised that there was an important item on GP services scheduled for the meeting on 13 October, where in addition to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.


Overview and Scrutiny Management Board Work Programme pdf icon PDF 650 KB

(To receive a report which enables the Board to note the content of its work programme for the coming year)



Members were advised that this item was for information only.


It was noted that at the meeting on the 28th October 2021, there were two additional pre-decision items which had been added to the agenda which were the Fleet Management Accident Service and Decision to award Lincolnshire County Council's Mobile Voice and Data Services Contract.



Invitation to join a Geological Disposal Facility Working Group in eastern Lincolnshire pdf icon PDF 387 KB

(This report invites the Board to note that on 14 September 2021, the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee considered the attached report to the Executive and the statement of the Committee has been incorporated in the report to the Executive on 5 October 2021, as set out in Appendix A)

Additional documents:


Members were advised that this item was for information only. However, the Chairman of the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee informed the Board that the recommendations had been supported by the Committee. He was pleased to report that there had been positive engagement with the campaign group before the meeting and a representative had been invited to speak at the meeting. The campaign group was disappointed with the support of the Committee but thankful that the Council had allowed engagement on the matter.


Covid-19 Update pdf icon PDF 502 KB

(This report provides an overview of the work by the Local Resilience Forum partners, and Lincolnshire County Council to manage Lincolnshire's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.


This report is for the Board's information only and provides an update and overview of the situation since the most recent report provided to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board on the 26th August 2021)


Members were advised that this item was for information only.


Following discussion on the report, the following points were noted:


·         The rate of Covid-19 in Lincolnshire's schools remained stable, however there had been a spike in the total number of Covid-19 cases in South Lincolnshire. Fortunately, the increase in cases had not translated into more people becoming seriously ill or dying from Covid-19, with the most serious cases being from those who were unvaccinated.

·         Covid-19 had caused considerable disruption to schools, although this had improved as a result of policy changes. The situation within schools remained difficult but manageable.

·         The Board emphasised the importance of continued communication of the 'hands, face, space' message.

·         There was an assumption that the virus would eventually become a similar model to the flu virus in the UK. It was likely that Covid-19 would be something that the country would manage for the foreseeable future, with the virus being more prominent in winter months.

·         There was likely to be around a 50% take up in the vaccination of 12-15 year olds.

·         It was expected that the Council would return to 'normal' by Summer 2022. In line with the Council's Smarter Working Policy, employees would return to a hybrid system of working. The programme would suggest that employees worked from an office space for two days a week and from home three days a week, subject to the needs of particular service areas. Employees were still being encouraged to work from home where possible at the current time.  





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