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Melton Borough Council Bottesford Parish Council 11 th January 2021 Don Pritchett Independent Councillor Bottesford Ward
Overview • Only 3 smaller councils in the country • Large area low population • 26, 000 Melton, 26, 000 rural • 15 councillors Melton, 13 councillors rural = 28 (No town council) • 28 councillors low compared to larger councils with 40 plus • 20 Conservative, 6 Independent/Green Group and 2 Sole independents • Undemanding electorate historic swing in Melton
MONEY Reduced Government Grant funding since 2010 £ 5 m General Fund (£ 3 m plus domestic council tax) £ 600, 000 Melton town precept Low reserves Social housing account – 1860 properties, 85 Bottesford Parish Regulatory service pressures and homeless, covid income loss not met by Government, north and south Melton distributor road(s) risks. • Difficult to balance spend with income for 2021 • No interest in any added value spend in rural areas? • Evaluation of output to input spend needs review? • • •
MANAGEMENT • Regulatory Committees-Planning, Licensing and Audit and Standards • From May 2019 Move from a committee to a cabinet of 5 system • Scrutiny committee • Low number of councillors and senior officers • 2015 -19 poor management of social housing stock such as repairs, refurbishment when tenant leaves, compliance with gas and other safety requirements, (Minimal impact Bottesford Parish? ). In 2019 new Director recruited an improvement plan in place.
Management (cont) • Councillor motivation – input or output for the future or the past? • 28 councillors – population features, Melton 15 and town issues • Cabinet & Scrutiny features • 20 conservatives v 6 independents wins every time!! • Independent and Green Group analysis by September 2019, wrote to the Leader 6 January 2020; Variable staff performance, No plans to implement objectives such as growth-employment, town centre regeneration. Comments on the 2015 £ 6 m Cattle market investment, youth services and lack of interest in rural issues.
Management (Cont) • Some excellent services and staff – Waste, environment and licensing, legal and democratic, response to covid very good but overall variable • I have to record communications and agreed actions and have to chase too much. Now taking more charge of managing actions • Variable quality of papers to council meetings • Not complete governance compliance, risk management, audit and counter fraud. • Melton relief road(s) problems • Sale of land food enterprise centre controversy
Management (Cont) • Complaints from Conservative councillors during 2020 • Consultant appointed to collate councillor and officer relations complaints • Discussions about votes of no confidence • LGA review of governance with feedback 19 th January 2021 • Individual Independent and Green councillors to consider and will meet to consider the next stage • Devolution stalled
Planning • Committee considered strong – NPPF, Local and Neighbourhood plans • Growth board option not taken • Local Plan approved in 2018 –slow with masterplans, SPDs for Sect 106 and design only now being drafted, should have been completed by February 2019? • Lack of experience, reliance on contractors, lack of investment in experience • Growth board option not taken • Historic officer decisions being looked into by new councillors • Lack of adequate supervision and check of Planning Officer work? • Minimal service? • Your Ward councillors proactive and vigilant • Deputy Leader and Portfolio holder has stated more houses for rural areas if no southern relief road – close family relation is Chair of the Planning Committee
BE VIGILANT • Report any concerns to your Ward Councillors • We cannot blame MBC for EVERYTHING!