Decisions made at Full Council meeting – 12 December 2016Published Tuesday 13 December 2016
The outcomes of items considered at Harborough District Council’s Full Council meeting on Monday 12 December 2016 are as follows:
- Councillors agreed to support the proposed new warding pattern recommended by the Electoral Review Committee for submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE). The LGBCE has set council size at 34 councillors. Under the warding pattern, supported by the council, 34 councillors would cover 24 wards within the Harborough district – 16 single-councillor wards, 6 two-councillor wards, and 2 three-councillor wards. The boundaries between wards in Market Harborough, Lutterworth and Broughton Astley – the main settlements in the district – have been redrawn to ensure the electorate is more evenly distributed (4 multi-councillor wards in Market Harborough, 4 single-councillor wards in Lutterworth and 4 single-councillor wards in Broughton Astley). The larger rural settlements of Great Glen, Fleckney, and Kibworth Beauchamp are linked with adjoining rural parishes to create 2 councillor wards in each of these areas. It is suggested that Kibworth, Peatling and Billesdon ward names are no longer used, and instead the new ward names of Beauchamp and Harcourt be introduced. In Scraptoft, Thurnby, Stoughton and Houghton on the Hill the existing 3 councillor warding arrangement would be retained. The proposals aim to make local government more simple, efficient and effective. The current LGBCE consultation ends on 9 January 2017. The LGBCE will then consider all the submissions it has received, including the Council’s submission, prior to publishing its draft recommendations (expected 14 March 2017). A further period of public consultation will follow on the draft recommendations prior to LGBCE publishing its final recommendations which are expected in July 2017.
Cllr Blake Pain, leader of the council, praised the work put into the review adding that, as there had been a significant reduction in council officers, it was appropriate that councillor numbers should also be reduced.
- Councillors agreed improvements to the how the district’s car parks will be run over the coming years. Harborough District Council’s Executive approved the new Car Parking Strategy on 5 December 2016. However approval at Full Council was required to make changes to the parking order affecting off-street parking (car parks). This includes introducing new ticket machine payment methods and electrical charging points, coach parking provision, redesigning car parks, introducing car park charging at Symington’s Recreation Ground, removal of some private car parks from the order, and amending car parking tariffs.
Cllr Blake Pain said that, although car parking charges would increase slightly, the district was still “one of the most competitive in the country” in terms of costs to park.
Cllr Neil Bannister said: “These proposals are not made on a whim but are part of an overall strategy to improve the economic vitality of the district. The changes are necessary, proportionate and fiscally responsible.”
- Following last week’s recommendation by the Executive, councillors agreed that the Council Tax Support Scheme should be frozen at 15% for 2017/18. This means that working age residents claiming council tax support will continue to make a financial contribution of 15% of their overall council tax bill. Councillors did have the option to increase the amount council tax support claimants pay towards the bill but, following feedback from the public, agreed to freeze the contribution at 15%.
- Councillors voted to accept a Motion, submitted by Cllr Mike Rook, to support the Royal British Legion’s call to urge Parliament and local MPs to ensure that the 2021 census includes questions concerning the Armed Forces community. This Council further urges Parliament to remove any barriers, perceived or real in the legal system, which might prevent NHS practitioners on a voluntary basis, from communicating medical information which could assist in the settlement and care of veterans.
- More articles in the news archive