Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Wednesday, 21st October, 2020 6.00 pm

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    Items
    No. Item

    16.

    Apologies pdf icon PDF 4 KB

    To receive any apologies for absence.

    Minutes:

    There were no apologies for absence received.

    17.

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

    To confirm the attached Minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2020.

    Minutes:

    The Minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

    18.

    Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 143 KB

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

    Minutes:

    There were no declarations of interest made by Members.

    19.

    Announcements pdf icon PDF 4 KB

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

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Council, Councillor M D Conolly, made the following announcements:

     

    (a)  That he had hosted a virtual thank you presentation for Together4Dover which had been attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent (Lady Colgrain), the High Sheriff of Kent (Mrs Millwater), the Chairman of Kent County Council (Councillor Gibbons) and the Mayor of Dover (Councillor Cowan).

     

    (b)  To advise that Councillor J P J Burman (Mill Hill Ward) had recently resigned and to thank him for his service and wish him well for the future.

     

    (c)   To advise Members of the news of the death of former Mayor of Dover, Bob Markham.

     

    (d)  That he had sent a message of condolences to the family of Mandy Pile, Waste Services Manager, following the sad news of her unexpected death. The Chairman spoke about her great service to the council and how she would be missed and was joined by the Chief Executive, Leader of the Council and Leader of the Opposition in paying tribute to her. 

     

    The Chairman asked Members to observe a minute of silence as a mark of respect.   

    20.

    Leader's Time pdf icon PDF 234 KB

    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 of the Main Opposition Group (or their nominee) shall be allowed up to 10 minutes to respond.

    (c)  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 Leader(s), whichever is the greatest).

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett, included the following matters in his report:

     

    (a)  To remind Members of the ‘Hands. Face. Space’ message from the government and the need for everyone to do their part in combating the spread of Covid-19.

     

    (b)  To express his sympathy for those who had lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic and he noted that this had hit the young particularly hard.

     

    (c)   To advise that the Council had been awarded funds from the Heritage Lottery to undertaken restoration work at the Maison Dieu. This would include the development of a new visitor entrance and a café in the former cells. He extended his thanks to everyone involved in the project and praised the contribution of the Council’s consultants on the project.

     

    (d)  To advise that a meeting of the Dover Town Regeneration Advisory Board (PAG) would be held in December 2020.

     

    (e)  To advise that although the Council’s budget would be balanced for 2020/21 there were tough choices to be taken in 2021 for the 2021/22 budget.

     

    (f)    To highlight the works on the new entrance for the Dover Museum and its Dunkirk exhibit.

     

    (g)  To thank volunteers for their hard work in a recent litter collection.

     

    (h)  To praise the projects funded by the Community Grant Scheme and thank community services for their work.

     

    (i)    That he had informed about the planned lorry park in the Dover District but had been unable to say anything publicly as the information was confidential.

     

    (j)    That the Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation would commence in January 2021.

     

    (k)   That he opposed the increased housing target set by the Government.

     

    (l)    That the Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, had visited the Council’s new CCTV centre and had been advised of its successes. In addition, there would be an additional six police officers allocated to the Dover District.

     

    (m) To welcome the housing service return in-house and to thank ICT for their work in ensuring a smooth handover.

     

    (n)  That the Council had made two bids for funding to tackle homelessness, including a capital funding bid for accommodation for rough sleepers.

     

     

    The Leader of the Opposition Labour Group, Councillor K Mills, included the following matters in his report:   

     

    (a)  To welcome the news concerning the works for Maison Dieu.

     

     

    (b)  To suggest that the co-innovation hub could be expanded to other areas of the district.

     

    (c)   To point to the increasing need for grants arising from the impact of Covid-19 and the pressure on the Council’s grants scheme.

     

    (d)  To welcome the news of increased police numbers in the district but to emphasise that this needed to be an increase in front line staff rather than managers.

     

    (e)  To thank former councillor J P J Burman for his contribution during his time as a councillor and to wish him the best for the future.

     

    (f)    To welcome the return of the housing service to council control. There were many lessons to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

    21.

    Seat Allocation and Group Appointments pdf icon PDF 4 KB

    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).)

    Minutes:

    It was moved by Councillor K Mills, duly seconded by Councillor P M Brivio, and

     

    RESOLVED:       That Councillor C F Woodgate be appointed to the Planning Committee to fill the vacancy in the Labour Group allocation arising from the resignation of Councillor J P J Burman.

    22.

    Questions from the Public pdf icon PDF 115 KB

    To receive answers in respect of questions from the public to Members of the Executive asked in accordance with Rule 11 (as amended by Rule 28 for remote meetings) 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)  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

     

    The questions from the public that were received within the notice period are set out in the agenda.

    Minutes:

    (1)   In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11 (as amended by Council Procedure Rule 28.9), a question from Keith Sansum was put to the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Corporate Property, Councillor O C de R Richardson:

     

                “What DDC proposes to do to rectify the shortage of toilets in Dover?”

     

    In response Councillor O C de R Richardson stated that he would like to thank Mr Sansum for his question and that in summary Dover District Council did not envisage more public lavatories within Dover in the near future.

     

    He advised that since becoming a district councillor the provision of public lavatories within the District was an issue that was close to his heart. In the Autumn of last year he had undertaken a tour of all 17 public lavatories in the District with his wife in response to a request from the then Leader and had written a paper on how they could be improved. He recognised how important public lavatories were for people across the district, especially the elderly and disabled.

     

    Public lavatories were not a statutory responsibility of the Council and elsewhere in the country many had been passed to Town and Parish Councils or closed completely. Indeed, the BBC had said that in 37 areas, major councils no longer ran any public conveniences. Within Dover Town there were presently three public lavatories, two run by the District and one run by Dover Town Council. There had been a fourth run by Dover Town Council but it had decided to close it. The two run by Dover District Council (Stembrook Carpark & Connaught Park) were open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year and cleaned three times a day. The one run by Dover Town Council had opening hours that were not regular. The two District lavatories cost over £20,000 per year to operate and despite extremely tight finances at Dover District Council the Connaught Park lavatories had recently been repainted externally by the Council’s in-house Asset Maintenance Team, who received much positive feedback from those using Connaught Park.

     

    Dover Harbour Board were responsible for the lavatory on the seafront, but they had demolished it and made no replacement provision.

     

    He stated that he would endeavour to ensure that the lavatories in the hands of the District Council continued to be free, well maintained and accessible by all.

     

    (2)   In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11 (as amended by Council Procedure Rule 28.9), a question from Sarah Gleave was put to the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett:

     

    “Across Kent, this year, there is immense concern about the disempowerment of Kent District and Borough Councils / LPAs by Conservative central govt through Johnson / Jenrick’s English Planning Reform White Paper, and standard housing proposals which double Kent housing targets. We hear ‘Dover faces the greatest increase of all, a scarcely credible 125% hike on its current target potentially 1279 homes per year’. Alas, Dover’s MP is not one of the 11 Kent MPs  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

    23.

    APPROVAL OF REVISED 2020/21 GENERAL FUND REVENUE BUDGET AND PROJECT PROGRAMMES pdf icon PDF 422 KB

    To consider the attached report of the Strategic Director (Corporate Resources).

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Strategic Director (Corporate Resources) presented the Revised 2020/21 General Fund Revenue Budget and Project Programmes report.

     

    The report presented the revised 2020/21 General Fund revenue budget and the updated Capital and Special Project Programmes, which had taken into account the forecast impact of Covid-19, the lockdown period and the on-going impact on the economy.

     

    It was moved by Councillor C A Vinson, duly seconded by Councillor S S Chandler, and

     

    RESOLVED:       That the revised 2020/21 General Fund Revenue Budget and the Capital and Special Projects Programmes be approved, including:

     

    (i)            Forecast increase in the General Fund revenue budget deficit;

    (ii)           Reduction in proposed transfers to reserves and the use of Government funding to offset the forecast deficit; and

    (iii)          Addition, removal and amendments to projects.

    24.

    Amendment to the Scheme of Officer Delegations pdf icon PDF 196 KB

    To consider the attached report of the Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer presented the Amendment to the Scheme of Officer Delegations.

     

    A number of amendments to the scheme were required as a result of the council transferring the housing service back in-house and in respect of public health matters arising from BREXIT and Covid-19.

     

    It was moved by Councillor P D Jull, duly seconded by Councillor J S Back, and

     

    RESOLVED:       That amendments to the Scheme of Officer Delegations, made by the Leader be noted and incorporated within the Constitution.

    25.

    Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 188 KB

    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.

     

    Members may ask one supplementary question in addition to their original question.

     

    The questions received are set out in the agenda papers.

     

    Minutes:

    In accordance with Rule 12(1) of the Council Procedure Rules, Members of the Cabinet responded to the following questions:

     

    (1)       Councillor M Bates asked the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Waste, and Planning, Councillor N S Kenton:

     

              “Obviously during these difficult times many things have been affected.  Could the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Waste, and Planning, outline how recycling collections have fared during the pandemic, and how this compares with our neighbours?”

     

              In response, the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Waste and Planning stated that despite the challenges posed by the pandemic he was pleased to report that Veolia were able to maintain a normal service throughout the lockdown period and the months that had followed. This was in stark contrast to some of our neighbouring authorities where services such as garden waste collections had been suspended or routine collections had been delayed.

     

              The Leader of the Council had visited Veolia’s depot to thank the staff personally in recognition of their outstanding efforts to maintain normal services despite significant staff shortages due to self-isolation and waste volumes increasing by as much as 25% at this time.

     

              In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.5, Councillor M Bates exercised his right to ask a supplementary question.

     

    (2)       Councillor H M Williams asked the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Waste, and Planning, Councillor N S Kenton:

     

              “Please explain why the planning committee were not informed about the major changes to Planning proposed by the White Paper which came out on August 6th with responses to be submitted by 13 October.  Members of the committee were not involved at any stage in discussion nor were they able to ask questions about the proposals or DDC’s response.   Nor were other interested councillors informed or invited to participate in any way.  Are you able to advise why this happened like this?”

     

              In response, the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Waste and Planning stated that while officers had delegated authority to respond to consultations by Government on matters such as this it was agreed that due to the impact of the proposals, both interim and longer term, that a report should be taken to Cabinet to inform Members about the detail of the proposals and to get high level endorsement of the proposed response. The timescales associated with the consultation on the interim proposals meant that this had to be sent prior to the Cabinet on 5 October, however the response was shared with, and agreed by, appropriate Members.  A briefing was held to inform Members of both proposals on 13 October 2020 and the outcomes of that were reported to Cabinet on 19 October 2020 prior to the response being sent.

     

              In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.5, Councillor H M Williams exercised her right to ask a supplementary question.

     

    (3)       Councillor S H Beer asked the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Governance and Digital, Councillor C A Vinson:

     

              “When reviewing our property assets are social values applied as well as financial values?”

     

              In response the Portfolio Holder for Finance,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

    26.

    Motions pdf icon PDF 190 KB

    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.

     

    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.

     

    The Motions received are set out in the agenda papers.

    Minutes:

    In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13, Councillor E A Biggs moved the Motion of which he had given notice as followed:

    “Providing information on Brexit Lorry parks in the District

     

    This Council notes:

     

    1.    That all Councillors are elected by the Community to decide how the Council should carry out its various activities and to represent the public interest.

    2.    That Councillors have not been informed of plans for a Lorry Park in the District.

    3.    That Department of Transport has been conducting on the ground research for sites in March this year.

    4.    That Senior Officers and the Leader were party to these discussions and were informed of a site selected in March this year.

    5.    That the Opposition Leader and the Shadow Portfolio for Transport were excluded from any discussions.

    6.    That Michael Gove made a statement to the House of Commons on 13th July ‘I stress that there are no plans to build a new lorry park at Dover’

    7.    That on 14th July a Senior Officer of the Council responded that Highways England has undertaken a trawl of sites in the District but the conclusions have not been shared with DDC.

    8.    That on 15th July Portfolio Holder for Transport responded ‘I only know what we are picking up from Michael Gove’s comments in Parliament”.

     

    This Council believes:

     

    1.    That in order for Councillors to fulfill their elected mandate major infrastructure plans such as Lorry Parks should be subject to full disclosure.

    2.    Any Lorry Park proposal should be subject to all current planning standards and satisfy issues, including impact on the road network, proximity to existing built up areas, avoidance of harm to open landscape and unacceptable harm to ecology, water quality and heritage/archaeology.

    3.    Any disruption to the Local Plan should be fully compensated by Central Government.

     

    The Motion was duly seconded by Councillor H M Williams.

     

    It was pointed out by several Members that the proposals related to an inbound customs clearance centre rather than an outbound traffic lorry park.

     

    It was moved as an AMENDMENT by Councillor T J Bartlett, and duly seconded by Councillor N J Collor that

     

    (a)  Points 4 and 5 be deleted

    (b)  Points 1 to 3 following ‘this Council believes:’ be deleted and replaced with the following text:

     

    This Council believes:

    Whilst recognising the intention of legislation that gives the government powers to use Special Development Orders this Council believes that, in order for Councillors to fulfil their elected mandate, there should be as much disclosure and consultation as possible on major infrastructure plans such as lorry parks and border control points.

    Any such proposals should take account of impact on the local road network, proximity to existing built up areas, avoidance of harm to open landscape and potential harm to ecology, water quality and heritage and archaeology.

     

    Councillor E A Biggs and his seconder agreed to accept the AMENDMENT.

     

    The SUBSTANTIVE Motion was put to the meeting and

     

    RESOLVED:       Providing information on Brexit Lorry parks  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

    27.

    Urgent Business Time pdf icon PDF 140 KB

    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 for consideration.

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