Agenda and minutes

Policy Development Panel - Wednesday, 4th November, 2015 6.30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Christine Morgan  01775 764454

Items
No. Item

29.

Declaration of Interests

(Councillors are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest.  In the interests of transparency, councillors may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item, that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct)

Minutes:

Councillor Astill declared an interest in the agenda item relating to primary and secondary school provision in the South Holland area,  as he was related to a child who had been unable to gain admittance to the Deepings School due to over-capacity.

30.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2015 (copy enclosed)

 

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2015 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

31.

Questions asked under Council Procedure Rule 10.3

Minutes:

There were none.

32.

Tracking of recommendations

To consider responses of the Cabinet reports of the Panel

Minutes:

There were none.

33.

Items referred from the Performance Monitoring Panel

Minutes:

There were none.

34.

Key Decision Plan pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To note the current Key Decision Plan, published 27 October 2015 (copy enclosed) 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan, published on 27 October 2015.

 

AGREED:

 

That the Key Decision Plan be noted.

35.

Policy Development Panel Work Programme pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To set out the Work Programme of the Policy Development Panel (report of the Executive Manager Governance enclosed)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Manager Governance, which set out the Work Programme of the Policy Development Panel. The Work Programme consisted of two separate sections, the first setting out the dates of the future Panel meetings along with proposed items for consideration, and the second setting out the Task Groups that had been identified by the Panel.

 

Task Group members again raised issues around Pride in South Holland and the Street Scene, as discussed at previous meetings.  The following points were raised:

 

·         Could the Panel develop a policy around improved shop frontages (particularly in conservation areas), and street scene issues?

·         Although these two issues were separate issues, they were linked.

·         It was requested that a summary report around legislation relating to the duties of the Authority, with regard to shop frontage and street scene issues, and up-keep of public areas, be provided to the next meeting of the Panel - this would assist the Panel in identifying  whether there were any areas not covered by legislation that would enable it to develop a policy to improve these areas.

·         Consideration could be given to introducing a voluntary code for applicants to consider in relation to the appearance of shop frontages.

·         Enforcement in conservation areas – what powers could be used to address controversial applications, and could the size of a conservation area be reduced or extended?

·         New signs regarding the disposal of chewing gum had been erected in the area – Councillors wanted to know who had put the signs up, how their location had been decided, and whether they were cost-effective.

·         Councillor Eldridge commented that a new street cleaning machine had recently been promoted by the Council, and asked what had become of he old one, whether it had been leased or purchased, and whether it could be used in other towns and villages in the district. 

 

AGREED:

 

a)    That the report be noted;

 

b)    That a summary of legislation relating to the duties of the local authority with regard to street scene issues, shop frontages and upkeep of public areas be provided to the next meeting of the Panel;

 

c)    That information be provided on whether the size of conservation areas could be expanded or reduced, with regard to how conservation areas affected what was considered as appropriate signage for the areas;

 

d)    That the Panel considers this information to ascertain whether there were any areas not covered by legislation that could be used to formulate a policy to address areas of concern;

 

e)    That officers be requested to liaise with colleagues from the local authority covering Stamford to identify reasons why there was a different approach to  street scene/shop frontages in the South Holland area and the Stamford area;

 

f)     That Councillor McLean’s suggestion of introducing a voluntary code for shopkeepers in order to improve shop frontages be considered;

 

g)    That Councillors be advised on issues around the erection of new signs regarding disposal of chewing gum  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Primary and secondary school provision in the South Holland area

At its meeting on 9 June 2015, the Panel raised concerns over primary and secondary school provision in the area, and how this was affected by development in the area.

 

The following representative will be in attendance to answer Councillors’ questions:

 

·         Matthew Clayton – School Organisation Planning Manager, Children’s Services, Lincolnshire County Council

 

 

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Matthew Clayton, School Organisation Planning Manager, Children’s Services, Lincolnshire County Council, and David Hair, Member Services Manager at Lincolnshire County Council.  They had been invited to answer questions following a Panel meeting on 9 June 2015, where concerns had been raised over primary and secondary school provision in the area, and how this was affected by development in the area.

 

As the officers had been delayed in arriving to the meeting, this agenda item was moved to the end of the agenda for discussion.

 

Councillors had raised a number of issues prior to the meeting, and Mr Clayton’s responses had been circulated to all Panel members.

 

Councillors raised a number of issues as follows:

 

·         Now that Crowland no longer had its own secondary school, it fell into the catchment area for the Deepings School.  This was over-subscribed.  Where would children from Crowland go to be schooled if they could not get into the Deepings School.  The University Academy in Holbeach was also full, taking only siblings.  Did the Deepings School have the capacity to expand?  Could children in Crowland find themselves having to attend schools not of their choice?

o   Matthew Clayton – Crowland was viewed as being within the catchment area for the Deepings School.  The aim was to ensure that there were sufficient places available for children from the Deepings and Crowland at the Deepings School. 

o   There were significant pressures coming forward in relation to the primary school sector, and this would eventually present itself in the secondary school sector.  Engagement with secondary schools needed to be undertaken now in order to prepare for this future demand.  The County Council had to negotiate and engage with Academies as these schools were not under their control.

o   There was capacity to expand the Deepings School.  Funding was never sufficient and therefore shortfalls had to be identified and prioritisation undertaken.

o   With regard to perception of the quality of some schools, much of this was due to perception.  School Governors had to ensure that they focussed on improving a school’s image.

 

·         What was the likelihood of there being another secondary school in Crowland in the future?

o   Matthew Clayton – Viability and size was a major issue when considering school locations.  Around 600 pupils were required for a secondary school to be viable, with an optimum number of 1200.  A business case and capital would have to submitted, and this was not currently viable for Crowland.

 

·         Two pupils from Crowland had recently not been admitted to Deepings School – it had been stated that the school was at capacity.  Where this school was the preference for parents, the capacity issue had resulted in local children not being able to attend a local school of choice (Councillor Astill raised this issue and declared an interest in this issue as he was related to one of these children)

o   Matthew Clayton – There was no control over distance and preference.  Children in Spalding could  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.