Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 30th November, 2016 6.00 pm

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    Contact: Rebecca Brough  Team Leader - Democratic Support

    Note: Please note that Agenda Item 6A (Thanet Parkway Presentation) has been withdrawn from the agenda and will now be given at a future meeting. 

    Items
    No. Item

    37.

    Apologies

    To receive any apologies for absence.

    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J S Back, N J Collor, S C Manion and A F Richardson.

    38.

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 99 KB

    To confirm the attached Minutes of the meetings held on 20 July 2016 and 21 September 2016.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Minutes of the meetings held on 20 July 2016 and 21 September 2016 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

    39.

    Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 37 KB

    To receive any declarations of interest from Members in respect of business to be transacted on the agenda.

    Minutes:

    Councillor A S Pollitt made a Voluntary Announcement of Other Interest (VAOI) in Minute No. 46 (Motions) due to his brother being a former mine worker.

    40.

    Announcements

    To receive any announcements from the Chairman, Leader, Members of the Cabinet or Head of Paid Service.

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Council made the following announcements:

     

    (a)  The death of former Councillor J M Munt

     

    The Chairman announced the sad news of the death of former Councillor J M Munt. She had served on the Council from 1997 until 2011 representing initially the Priory Ward and later the Maxton, Elms Vale and Priory Ward. She had been a former Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet member for the Labour Group.

     

    The Chairman called upon the group leaders present to speak and they paid tribute to the service and character of Councillor Munt. Councillor S F Bannister also spoke about Councillor Munt praising her commitment to Dover’s heritage and environment.

     

    The Council stood in silence as a mark of respect.

    41.

    Leader's Time

    To receive an oral report at the meeting from the Leader (and Cabinet) on the business of the Executive or on any topic or subject that it is felt should be brought to the attention of the Council.

     

    In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 (Leader’s Time):

     

    (a)  The Leader (and Cabinet) shall have up to 15 minutes to make within this report any statements that they wish on any topic or subject that they feel should be drawn to the attention of the Council.

    (b)  The Leader (or their nominee) of the Major Opposition Group (Labour Group) shall be allowed up to 10 minutes to respond.

    (c)  The Leader (or their nominee) of the Other Opposition Group (UKIP Group) shall be allowed up to 5 minutes to respond. 

    (d)  The Leader of the Council shall be allowed up to 5 minutes to exercise a right of reply (or 25% of the time given to the Opposition Group Leaders, whichever is the greatest).

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor P A Watkins, included the following matters in his report:

     

    (a)  The on-going discussions on an East Kent 5 authority merger as a result of the financial pressures on 4 of the 5 authorities. The business case report was expected to be ready in January 2017 and it would go to Cabinet, Scrutiny and an extraordinary Council in March 2017.

     

    The Chief Executives had visited other authorities looking at mergers and there had been a meeting with Kent Association of Local Council representatives to discuss the implications of a merger for the parishes. There had also been meetings with the business community and the 6 local Members of Parliament.

     

    The proposals would not include a unitary authority for East Kent as it wouldn’t be supported by the Government.

     

    Any devolution of powers from Kent County Council would have to be appended separately and would need to be linked with finance.

     

    (b)  The Council was waiting to see if the Autumn Statement had provision for infrastructure funding as the dualling of the A2 had not been included in the latest transport infrastructure projects.

     

    (c)  Master Planning for the Dover Town area was underway covering the waterfront, Bench street and through to the Town Hall. The consultation had so far identified similar issues from respondents.

     

    (d)  The St James’ site had the foundations going down for the cinema and hotel and steel frames would be going up in early January.

     

    The Leader of the Main Opposition Labour Group, Councillor M R Eddy, included the following matters in his report:

     

    (a)  That the East Kent merger proposals had a huge impact on local residents. While he could see some of the advantages of the proposals in respect of highways and waste there was concern that the new authority would end up responsible for pot holes but not strategic highways planning.

     

    There was a need for new revenue streams as Government finance for local government was reduced and this put pressure on local charitable services.

     

    There were also implications for parish councils if services were passed to them without sufficient funding arrangements.

     

    (b)  To welcome the progress being made on the St James’ development and to express the hope that it would help with the Council’s finances.

     

    In the absence of the Leader of the Minority Opposition UK Independence Party Group, Councillor A F Richardson, no report was given.

     

    The Leader of the Council exercised his right of reply.

    42.

    Seat Allocation and Group Appointments

    To receive from Group Leaders any changes to seat allocations or appointments.

     

    (Note:  Any changes must be within the approved allocation of seats to political groups in accordance with the political balance rules (where applicable).)

     

    (a)  To appoint 2 named substitutes from the Cabinet to the East Kent Services Committee.

    Minutes:

    Councillor P A Watkins advised that Councillors N J Collor and K E Morris were to be appointed as the designated substitute members on the East Kent Services Committee for the remainder of the municipal year 2016/17.

     

    RESOLVED: That the appointment of Councillors N J Collor and K E Morris as the designated substitute members on the East Kent Services Committee for the remainder of the municipal year 2016/17 be noted.

    43.

    Thanet Parkway Presentation

    To receive a presentation on Thanet Parkway.

    Minutes:

    The Chairman announced that the Thanet Parkway Presentation had been withdrawn.

    44.

    Questions from the Public

    To receive answers in respect of questions from the public to Members of the Executive asked in accordance with Rule 11 of the Council Procedure Rules.

     

    (a)  Questions will be asked in the order in which notice of them was received, except that the Chairman may group together similar questions.

    (b)  The period for questions by the public shall be limited so that no further questions shall be put after the elapse of 15 minutes from the commencement of the first question.

    (c)  A maximum of three minutes is allowed for the each question to be read.

    (d)  A questioner who has put a question in person may also put one supplementary question without notice to the member who has replied to his or her original question. A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or the reply.

    (e)  Afterwards, any other Member at the Chairman's discretion may speak for up to two minutes on a question or reply.

     

    Questions from the Public

     

    There were no questions from the public received within the notice period.

    Minutes:

    There were no questions from the public received within the notice period.

    45.

    Questions from Members

    Up to 60 minutes is allowed for this part of the meeting unless extended by the Chairman of Council on a motion moved, duly seconded and approved by the Council.  Members may ask one supplementary question in addition to their original question.

     

    (a)        To Chairmen/Vice-Chairmen of Committees

     

                To receive answers in respect of questions from Members of the Council to the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Council or the Chairman of any Committee or Sub-Committee asked in accordance with Rule 12 of the Council Procedure Rules.

     

                There were no questions submitted.

     

    (b)        To the Executive

     

                To receive answers in respect of questions from Members of the Council to a Member of the Executive asked in accordance with Rule 12 of the Council Procedure Rules.

     

                (1)        Councillor P M Brivio will ask the Leader of the Council, Councillor P A Watkins:

     

    “Last year this Council agreed to accommodate twelve Syrian refugee families in line with Government policy. How many families have been accommodated in the district and can the Leader outline the process of integration?”

     

                (2)        Councillor A S Pollitt will ask the Leader of the Council, Councillor P A Watkins:

     

    “Can the Leader inform the Council what progress has been made towards providing a cinema again in the Regent Cinema building?”

     

                (3)        Councillor P Walker will ask the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Waste and Planning, Councillor N S Kenton:

     

    “Can the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Waste and Planning state in detail why the Dover Soup Kitchen has been banished from the Pencester Gardens Car Park site and what arrangements, if any, have been made by the Council to aid the Soup Kitchen's relocation?”

     

                (4)        Councillor D A Sargent will ask the Portfolio Holder for Access and Licensing, Councillor N J Collor:

     

                            “Can the Portfolio Holder for Access inform the Council of the reasons for the continued delay by Government in installing interactive speed signs on the A20 between Folkestone and Dover?”

     

                (5)        Councillor M R Eddy will ask the Portfolio Holder for Housing, Health and Wellbeing, Councillor P M Beresford:

     

    “Can the Portfolio for Housing, Health and Wellbeing inform the Council of the Council's involvement in the NHS's Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Kent and Medway and are there any concerns about what the STP may mean for future health care in this area?”

     

    Minutes:

    In accordance with Rule 12(1) of the Council Procedure Rules, Members of the

    Cabinet responded to the following questions:

     

    (1)  Councillor P M Brivio asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor P A Watkins:

     

    “Last year this Council agreed to accommodate twelve Syrian refugee families in line with Government policy. How many families have been accommodated in the district and can the Leader outline the process of integration?”

     

    In response, the Portfolio Holder for Housing, Health and Wellbeing, Councillor P M Beresford advised that 2 families had been housed in the district and the Council was continuing to try and identify additional suitable housing in the private sector that was suitable. A comprehensive support package co-ordinated by Migrant Help was in place which include improving their English language skills and registering them with GPs and local schools.   

     

    In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.5, Councillor P M Brivio exercised her right to ask one supplementary question.

     

    (2)  Councillor A S Pollitt asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor P A Watkins:

     

    “Can the Leader inform the Council what progress has been made towards providing a cinema again in the Regent Cinema building?”

     

    In response the Portfolio Holder for Property Management and Public Protection, Councillor T J Bartlett, advised that the developers had been made aware of the Cabinet decision in October 2016 and he encouraged them to submit a planning application without further delay.

     

    In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.5, Councillor A S Pollitt exercised his right to ask one supplementary question and asked for a written copy of the answer.

     

    (3)  Councillor P Walker asked the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Waste and Planning, Councillor N S Kenton:

     

    “Can the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Waste and Planning state in detail why the Dover Soup Kitchen has been banished from the Pencester Gardens Car Park site and what arrangements, if any, have been made by the Council to aid the Soup Kitchen's relocation?”

     

    In response the Portfolio Holder for Property Management and Public Protection, Councillor T J Bartlett, thanked the Dover Soup Kitchen for the work they did and advised that a new site had been identified in Adrian Street.

     

    In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.5, Councillor P Walker exercised his right to ask one supplementary question.

     

    (Councillor F J W Scales advised as a point of personal clarification that he had not in his capacity as Chairman of the Planning Committee been responsible for the decision to move the Dover Soup Kitchen from Pencester Car Park.)

     

    (4)  Councillor D A Sargent asked the Portfolio Holder for Access and Licensing, Councillor N J Collor:

     

    “Can the Portfolio Holder for Access inform the Council of the reasons for the continued delay by Government in installing interactive speed signs on the A20 between Folkestone and Dover?”

     

    In the absence of Councillor N J Collor the Leader of the Council, Councillor P A Watkins, advised that the Council had been lobbying decision makers to install the promised interactive speed signs without further  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

    46.

    Motions

    Motions for which notice has been given are listed on the agenda in the order in which notice was received, unless the Member giving notice states, in writing, that they propose to move it at a later meeting or withdraw it.

     

    If a Motion set out in the agenda is not moved by the Member who gave notice thereof it shall, unless postponed by consent of the Council, be treated as withdrawn and shall not be moved without fresh notice.

     

    A Motion must be about matters for which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the District.

     

    (1)  In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13, Councillor M R Eddy will move:

     

    "This Council views with concern the injustice whereby the Treasury receives 50% of surpluses from the Mineworkers Pension Scheme, accumulating over £3 billion to date. This Council requests that the Public Accounts Committee conduct an independent review of the situation to address this unfair arrangement and calls upon MPs to take up the case for further action in Parliament.”

     

     

    Minutes:

    (1)  In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13, Councillor M R Eddy gave notice of his intention to move the following Motion:

     

    “This Council views with concern the injustice whereby the Treasury receives 50% of surpluses from the Mineworkers Pension Scheme, accumulating over £3 billion to date. This Council requests that the Public Accounts Committee conduct an independent review of the situation to address this unfair arrangement and calls upon MPs to take up the case for further action in Parliament.”

     

    The Motion was duly seconded by Councillor P J Hawkins.

     

    On being put to the meeting the Motion was CARRIED and it was

     

    RESOLVED:     This Council views with concern the injustice whereby the Treasury receives 50% of surpluses from the Mineworkers Pension Scheme, accumulating over £3 billion to date. This Council requests that the Public Accounts Committee conduct an independent review of the situation to address this unfair arrangement and calls upon MPs to take up the case for further action in Parliament.

    47.

    Restoration of Maison Dieu pdf icon PDF 96 KB

    To consider the attached report of the Director of Environment and Corporate Assets.

    Minutes:

    It was moved by Councillor T J Bartlett, duly seconded and

     

    RESOLVED: That the budget and policy framework be amended to increase the monies allocated to the restoration of Maison Dieu project from £2 million to £3 million in the capital programme.

    48.

    Appointment of the Council's External Auditors pdf icon PDF 113 KB

    To consider the attached report of the Director of Finance, Housing and Community.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Director of Finance, Housing and Community presented the report on the Appointment of the Council’s External Auditors.

     

    It was moved by Councillor P G Heath, duly seconded and

     

    RESOLVED:  That the Council accept the invitation from Public Sector Auditor Appointments (PSAA) to be an “opted in authority” to enable the PSAA to appoint an auditor for the Council for each of the five financial years beginning from 1 April 2018.

    49.

    Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

    To consider the attached joint report of the Director of Finance, Housing and Community and the Director of East Kent Services.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Director of Finance, Housing and Community presented the report on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2017/18.

     

    It was moved by Councillor M D Conolly, duly seconded and

     

    RESOLVED: That the following revisions to the current Council Tax Reduction Scheme (in respect of working age Council Tax payers) for the financial year 2017/18 be approved:

     

    (a)    That the current minimum contribution towards their Council Tax made by recipients of Council Tax Support be increased from 6.0% to 10.0%.

    (b)    That the maximum savings that a council tax payer liable to pay council tax can have and still claim Council Tax Support be reduced from £16,000 to £6,000.

    (c)    That a minimum income be used within the calculation for Self-Employed Council Tax payers after 12 months of self-employment.

    (d)    That the maximum level of Council Tax support is restricted to the equivalent of a Band D property charge.

    (e)    That only the first two children in a family will be included in the calculation for children born after April 2017. (Some exceptions will apply).

    (f)     That the Family Premium is not included in the calculation of Council Tax Support for all new working age Council Tax payers.

    (g)    That the period for which a late claim can be backdated is reduced to one month.

    (h)    That the period for which a Council Tax payer can be absent from Great Britain and still claim Council tax Support be reduced to 4 weeks (with some exclusions for certain occupations).

    (i)     That the element of the work related component of Employment and Support Allowance not be included in the Council Tax Support Calculation.

    (j)     That DDC works towards making determinations pursuant to section 17A(7) Local Government Finance Act 1992 of classes of cases in which the amount of council tax which a person is liable to pay will be reduced in accordance with section 13 A(1)(c) Local Government Finance Act 1992 from April 2017, in order to provide a safety net for council tax payers experiencing extreme difficulty paying their Council Tax.

    (k)    That Members note the Equalities Impact Assessment as detailed in Annex 4.

     

    50.

    Revised 2016/17 Treasury Management Strategy pdf icon PDF 52 KB

    To consider the attached report of the Director of Finance, Housing and Community.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Director of Finance, Housing and Community presented the report on the Revised 2016/17 Treasury Management Strategy.

     

    The Chairman advised that any discussions relating to the Property Investment Strategy would need to be conducted under that item in the agenda.

     

    The consensus of opinion was that it would be helpful to discuss the Property Investment Strategy first and Members agreed to vary the order of the agenda to take that item next.

    51.

    Exclusion of the Press and Public pdf icon PDF 37 KB

    The recommendation is attached.

     

    MATTERS WHICH THE MANAGEMENT TEAM SUGGESTS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN PRIVATE AS THE REPORT CONTAINS EXEMPT INFORMATION AS DEFINED WITHIN PART 1 OF SCHEDULE 12A OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS INDICATED AND IN RESPECT OF WHICH THE PROPER OFFICER CONSIDERS THAT THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN MAINTAINING THE EXEMPTION OUTWEIGHS THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN DISCLOSING THE INFORMATION

    Minutes:

    It was moved by Councillor D Hannent, duly seconded and

     

    RESOLVED: That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the remainder of the business on the grounds that the items to be considered involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Act.

    52.

    Property Investment Strategy

    To consider the attached report of the Director of Finance, Housing and Community.

    Minutes:

    The Director of Finance, Housing and Community presented the report on the Property Investment Strategy.

     

    It was moved by Councillor M D Conolly, duly seconded and

     

    RESOLVED:  (a) That a supplementary capital budget of £200 million, for the acquisition of commercial and residential assets for the economic regeneration and well-being of the district and for investment purposes, be approved.

     

                            (b)   That a supplementary revenue budget of £200,000 from the Regeneration Reserve, for the use of appropriate external professional support to establish a framework and assist with acquiring properties, be approved.

     

                            (c)   That the implementation of the Investment Property Strategy, and the investment strategy criteria set out at Appendix 1 of the report, be adopted.

     

    (Councillor D Hannent requested that his abstention from voting be recorded in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18.5)

     

    (Councillor R J Frost requested that his vote against be recorded in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18.5)

    53.

    Readmission of the Press and Public

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED: That the press and public be readmitted to the meeting for the remaining items of business.

    54.

    Revised 2016/17 Treasury Management Strategy

    Minutes:

    It was moved by Councillor M D Conolly, duly seconded and

     

    RESOLVED: That the revised 2016/17 Treasury Management Strategy be approved.

     

    (Councillor R J Frost requested that his vote against be recorded in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18.5)

     

    55.

    Urgent Business Time

    To consider any other items deemed by the Chairman of the Council to be urgent in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972.

    Minutes:

    There were no items of urgent business.

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