Agenda item

Questions asked without notice under Standing Order 7


Question to: Councillor Grocock

Question From: Councillor Newton

Subject: Key Decision Plan – Acquisition project to purchase s106 rented units


Councillor Newton referred to the item on the Key Decision Plan ‘Acquisition project to purchase s106 rented units – To seek approval to commit capital to purchase s106 rented dwellings’.  At Performance Monitoring Panel on 9 November 2021 she had asked how many properties this related to – could the Portfolio Holder provide any feedback? 


Councillor Grocock responded that this item related to the purchase of 3 s106 rented affordable homes at Albion Street in Crowland, and that this would provide 3 much needed one- bedroom units.  He commented that the Capital Programme had been approved by Council and, the homes subject to this decision would be delivered through the approved budget.  Officers were in discussions with the developer to agree a cost.


Question to: Councillor Grocock

Question From: Councillor Newton

Subject: Key Decision Plan – Property Acquisition to support Housing Options service delivery (A), (E) and (F)


Councillor Newton referred to the items on the Key Decision Plan ‘Property acquisition to support Housing Options service delivery (A), (E) and (F) – Acquisition of a second hand property’ and asked how many properties had been targeted or identified, and how much was in the budget?


Councillor Grocock responded that these items related to RSAP properties.  Originally, six entries had been added to the Key Decision Plan, one for each unit to be delivered however, as decision B related to three units and D related to two units, six units had been acquired through three decisions.  Decisions A, E and F had been kept on the Key Decision Planner in case any of the purchases of properties that had been part of the original three decisions fell through, and there was a requirement to purchase alternative properties.  There were six identified property purchases to be undertaken by January 2022 and if decisions A, E and F were not required, they would be removed from Key Decision Planner at that point.


Question to: Councillor Grocock

Question From: Councillor Newton

Subject: Property acquisition in Monkshouse Ward


Councillor Newton commented that, in relation to her previous question, a property had been acquired by the Council in the Monkshouse Ward – she had originally been advised that it would be ready for occupation earlier in the year, that this date had been delayed twice and that it was still not ready.  Could the Portfolio Holder advise when the property would be ready for occupation? 


Councillor Grocock responded that an initial survey had been undertaken on the property which had not identified all issues.  Within the next few days, members will be invited to look at the finished property.  The identified budget that the Council had originally set had been adhered to however, the property had overrun due to COVID and manpower issues, but it would be delivered shortly.


Question to: Councillors Coupland, Worth and Grocock

Question From: Councillor Alcock

Subject: Christmas shopping promotion in Spalding and Holbeach


Councillor Alcock commented that a comprehensive range of events was being held in Spalding and Holbeach, along with competitions, to encourage local shopping during the festive period.  Why could the same not be done for the other towns in the district? 


Councillor Coupland stated that community budgets and local regeneration were funding these schemes, and Councillor Worth confirmed that the Spalding and Holbeach Town Improvement Funds were being used.  There were no improvement funds for other towns in the district.


Councillor Alcock commented that it was sad that funds could not be found for the other towns.  As money was being spent in Spalding and Holbeach, he raised again a question that had been asked at a previous meeting of the Council – what was being done to address the mess made by pigeons, and the poor state of some of the empty shops in Spalding. 


Councillor Grocock responded that the funding being used to welcome back shoppers into Spalding and Holbeach had been available to other towns and villages, and all Parish Councils had been contacted however, only one reply had been received.  With regard to the pigeons, he advised that signs had been put out to not feed the pigeons, local businesses had been contacted where there were issues, and there had been discussions at the steering group.  With regard to funding, Councillor Worth commented that money from the Welcome Back fund was still available, and he asked councillors to encourage the Parish Councils to respond if funding was required.


Question to: Councillor Astill

Question From: Councillor Gibson

Subject: Live streaming of meetings


Councillor Gibson commented that other Councils were holding many of their meetings within Council Chambers again, and were live-streaming the meetings – did the Council have a timeframe for this to be happening at SHDC?


Councillor Astill commented that not all meetings were being held in the Council Chamber as it could not safely accommodate large numbers due to social distancing as a result of the Covid pandemic.  An update of equipment was currently being undertaken by Democratic Services and PSPSL, to update the equipment within the Council Chamber, to enable improved technical functionality.