Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 15 November 2018 5:00 pm

Venue: THE COUNCIL CHAMBER - FIRST FLOOR, TOWN HALL, TOWN HALL SQUARE, LEICESTER

Contact: Matthew Reeves 0116 4546352 (376352) Email: matthew.reeves@leicester.gov.uk; 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

32.

LORD MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Minutes:

The Lord Mayor reflected on recent events in the City.

 

He noted the celebrations and commemorations which had taken place for Diwali, bonfire night and Remembrance. He particularly thanked those Council officers involved in the arrangements for the city’s main Remembrance service.

 

The Lord Mayor also noted the sad news relating to passing of Councillor Mansukhlal Chohan, noting that he was a dedicated Councillor who would be dearly missed by his family, community and fellow Councillors.

 

The Lord Mayor further noted the sad loss of Mr. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the owner and Chairman of Leicester City Football Club. He noted the successes achieved by the club under Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha’s ownership as well as the generous donations he made to good causes in the city. The large numbers of people in the city who had turned out to march in commemoration of him were testament to the high regard with which he was held.

 

In conclusion the Lord Mayor commented that the city had come together through all these events whether in joy or sadness.

 

At the end of the announcements, Council stood for a minute’s silence in memory of Councillor Chohan and Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha.

33.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

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Minutes:

The Lord Mayor invited Members to declare any interests they might have in the business on the agenda.

 

No declarations were made.

34.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The link to view the minutes of the meeting held on 4 October 2018 is below:-

 

http://www.cabinet.leicester.gov.uk:8071/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=8706&x=1

 

Copies are also available from Democratic Support on (0116) 454 6350 or committees@leicester.gov.uk

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Minutes:

Moved by the Lord Mayor, seconded by the Deputy Lord Mayor and carried:

 

20.    That the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 4th October 2018, copies having been circulated to each Member of the Council, be taken as read and that they each be approved as a correct record.

35.

STATEMENTS BY THE CITY MAYOR/EXECUTIVE

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Minutes:

No statements were identified.

36.

PETITIONS

-           Presented by Members of the Public

-           Presented by Councillors

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Minutes:

PETITIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

 

Ms Janice Gannon presented a petition with 38 valid signatures in the following terms:-

 

“We the undersigned, call on Leicester City Council to cancel the proposed cuts to the public opening hours of the New Parks Leisure Centre. We want our pool to remain available for use before 9am as the facility is well used and vital for its users’ health and wellbeing.”

 

PETITIONS FROM COUNCILLORS

 

No petitions for presentation had been received from Councillors.

 

Under Council Procedure Rule 13a the aforementioned petition was referred to the Monitoring Officer for consideration and action as appropriate.

37.

QUESTIONS

-           From Members of the Public

-           From Councillors

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Minutes:

Lord Mayor:  Moving on to questions from the members of the public.  Would Michael Shenton please come forward to ask his question.  

 

Mr. Michael Shenton: Good evening. Can everybody hear me OK? “In light of the unfolding disaster that is universal credit, I urge Leicester City Council to reverse the £200,000 cuts imposed on its welfare rights service which has led to a loss of nearly half of the workers, reduced telephone access and no training provision.  This cut has been made without any equality impact assessment and at a time when the need for welfare rights advice has never been greater.  I have already seen claimants who are financially worse off under universal credit and who could have avoided it if they had been correctly advised.  In addition to this there is a big increase in the need to appeal universal credit decisions, for example in relation to EU nationals, sanctions, closure of universal credit claims etc.  Leicester City Council promised that it had no plans to make cuts to its advice services and this cut has been made without any scrutiny and without consultation.  Would the Council reverse this cut immediately and roll out welfare rights training across the city to all relevant agencies to ensure that claimants are aware of situations where they may have a choice between remaining on legacy benefits rather than dropping into universal credit?”  Thank you. 

 

Lord Mayor:  Councillor Master.

 

Councillor Master: Thank you Lord Mayor and thank you Mr. Shenton for your question. Your letter is timely and in one sense a little out of date.  I would guess nobody in this chamber would disagree with your use of the word “disaster” when describing universal credit.  It is not a scheme that the Council supports or us as a Labour Party but a workable principle delivered and sabotaged by this failing and cruel Tory government. No-one in this chamber would also disagree with me if I was to use the word “savage” to describe the unprecedented levels of cuts to this Council and its budget and what we have seen over the past eight years. Eight years of austerity which seems to have no end.   Nevertheless, both universal credit and cuts are done to us and we have to both manage within the resource we have and do what we can to help our citizens through this transition to universal credit amongst the many other challenges that we face. The decision to reduce the budget of the Council’s inhouse welfare rights was taken back in 2015, although it was not actually delivered until late last year. The reason for this was to ensure the wider provision of the social welfare advice across the city was taken into full consideration. This Council currently spends over three quarters of a million pounds per year specifically on the provision of welfare advice, with the majority of provision being commissioned within the voluntary sector and our partners.   We are at the heart of the communities that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

MATTERS RESERVED TO COUNCIL pdf icon PDF 54 KB

7.1       Gambling Policy 2019/21

 

7.2       Council Tax Empty Property Premium    

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Minutes:

Gambling Policy 2019-21

 

Moved by Deputy City Mayor, Councillor Clair, seconded by Councillor Gugnani,

 

21.       That Council approves the revised Gambling Policy for 2019-21.

 

Council Tax Exempt Property Premium

 

Moved by the City Mayor, seconded by Deputy City Mayor Councillor Clair and carried:

 

22.       That Council:

 

a)    Adopt the Empty Homes Premium increase to 100% for homes empty for more than two years from 2019/20, to 200% for homes empty more than five years from 2020/21, and to 300% for homes empty more than ten years from 2021/22 from 1st April 2019;

 

b)    Include a mandatory exemption for Armed Forces personnel supporting the Council’s Armed Forces Covenant; and

 

c)    Note that should parliament determine any further mandatory exemptions to the empty homes premium provisions then the Council would be obliged to comply.

 

39.

REPORTS OF SCRUTINY COMMITTEES pdf icon PDF 45 KB

8.1       Leicester City Council, Scrutiny Report 2016 – 2018

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Minutes:

Leicester City Council Scrutiny Report 2016-2018

 

Moved by Councillor Singh, seconded by Councillor Govind and carried:-

 

23.       That Council note the work of scrutiny during 2016 – 2018.

40.

REPORTS OF REGULATORY COMMITTEES pdf icon PDF 45 KB

9.1       Annual Report of the Audit and Risk Committee 2017-18

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Minutes:

Annual Report of the Audit and Risk Committee 2017-18

 

Moved by Councillor Singh Riyait, seconded by Councillor Westley, and carried:-

 

24.       That Council note the contents of the report.

41.

EXECUTIVE AND COMMITTEES

-        To note any changes to the Executive

-        To vary the composition and fill any vacancies of any Committee of the Council

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Minutes:

No items identified.

42.

ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS

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Minutes:

There being no further or urgent items of business the Lord Mayor declared the meeting closed at 6.36pm.