Agenda item

Bingham Improvement Board Report

The report of the Chief Executive is attached.



Having declared an interest, Councillor Purdue-Horan left his seat but remained in the Council Chamber and did not part in the debate or vote for this item.


The Leader and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Strategic and Borough Wide Leadership, Councillor Robinson presented the report of the Chief Executive outlining the Bingham Improvement Board report.


The Leader recalled that at its meeting on 30 September 2021, Council had accepted a petition from The Bingham Deserves Better group, following several years of complaints regarding the running of Bingham Town Council.  Legally the Council could not action the requests in that petition; however, it was recognised that there were significant concerns, and the Leader reminded Council that he had proposed a change to the officer’s recommendations in the report, to establish this Improvement Board.  The Leader was pleased that this recommendation had been fully supported, and following on from that decision, he, together with the Chief Executive, the Mayor and the clerk from Bingham Town Council had agreed the terms of reference for the Board, which had also been approved by Bingham Town Council.  The Board, which was made up of three independent members, and two Bingham Town Councillors had completed its report, and that had been considered and agreed by Bingham Town Council at its meeting on 24 May 2022.  The report had also been considered by Cabinet on 14 June 2022, before coming before Council this evening. 


The Leader summarised the four main objectives of the Board, details of which were listed in the Board’s report.  Council was advised that the Board had spoken with over 25 different stakeholders, to canvass views, read numerous reports and attended Bingham Town Council meetings, and the Board was commended for the thorough and excellent work it had achieved.


The Leader stated that some of the findings in the report made for disappointing reading, in particular the lack of respect, poor behaviour and lack of openness, together with a disregard for the Code of Conduct.  However, the Leader considered that there were two main issues of most concern: one being the lack of focus on delivering services for the community, in particular the car park, as all focus had been on internal issues; and secondly the significant and disgraceful financial costs incurred from this entire process, at a time when every Council was trying to save money. 


In conclusion, Council was advised that moving forward, the report listed very clear and tangible recommendations, underpinned by the Nolan Principles, and the Leader referred to a statement in the report, which looked to future cooperation and the potential for change being in the hands of members, and supported that sentiment.


Councillor Edyvean seconded the recommendation and reserved the right to speak.


Councillor J Walker confirmed that the Labour Group would be supporting the recommendation and stated that it was good to see democracy returning to the residents of Bingham, along with decency and integrity in how politics was run. 


Councillor Jones advised that the Liberal Democrat Group would be supporting the recommendation and referred to the impact that this situation had had on residents and their perception of the Town Council, as was.  Councillor Jones stated that the report was excellent, and the review in six months’ time was welcomed; however, the only disappointing thing, was the lack of an apology to the Town Clerk, but it was hoped that things would move forward now.


Councillor R Mallender advised that the Green Group would be supporting the recommendation, and praised the excellent report, which would help the residents of Bingham, who expected and deserved better.  It was noted that with the proposed new housing, Bingham would grow significantly, and it was important that those residents received the help and support they needed from the Town Council.


Councillor Thomas confirmed that the Leake Independent Group supported the recommendation.


Councillor Clarke fully endorsed the comments made by the Leader in respect of the car park, which was a major project, and it was vital that this project was now driven forwards, given the proposed major development that would be taking place, additional car parking provision was urgently needed.


Councillor Edyvean referred to the recent appointment of Councillor Gareth Williams as Mayor of Bingham and wished him good fortune in implementing the recommendations of the Board.


The Leader thanked Council for its support and agreed that everyone seemed to share the same feelings regarding this matter and reminded Council that it would receive an update in six months’ time.




a)     that Council noted that report of the Bingham Improvement Board had been accepted by Bingham Town Council, at its meeting of 24 May 2022, and that the report had been endorsed y Cabinet at its meeting on 14 June 2022; and 


b)     that an update on progress against the Action Plan be received by Council in six months’ time.  

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