Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 27th January, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting - Teams Live Event. View directions

Contact: Rebecca Brough, Democratic Services Manager  Email: democraticservices@dover.gov.uk

Link: CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE LIVE MEETING BROADCAST

Items
No. Item

28.

Apologies pdf icon PDF 4 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor C F Woodgate.

29.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 162 KB

To confirm the attached Minutes of the meeting held on 21 October 2020.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 21 October 2020 were approved as a correct record for signing by the Chairman.

30.

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.

31.

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)  To congratulate Deal Parochial Primary School on having won the Education Category of the Kent Lawn Tennis Association Tennis Awards for 2020.

 

(b)  To inform Members that 27 January 2021 was Holocaust Memorial Day and remind them of the importance of remembering those murdered in the Holocaust and the genocides that occurred in the years that followed.

 

(c)   To inform Members of the death of former district Councillor M M Sansum. She had served on the Council for 16 years from 1991 to 2007 representing Castle Ward and then Tower Hamlets Ward for the Labour Group. It was noted that she had come from a family that had given nearly 50 years of combined service as district councillors. In addition, she served as a Dover Town Councillor and was a former Mayor of Dover.

 

The Chairman invited Members to share their memories of fomer Councillor M M Sansum and the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett, and the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor K Mills, spoke of her time on the Council and the service she gave to representing her local community.

 

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

32.

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)  The impact of France closing its borders on Dover and to thank officers for their work in trying to alleviate the problems. He also thanked Veolia for the work it undertook to clear the highway of litter after the problems had cleared though noted that Highways England should have been responsible for doing this not the Council.

 

(b)  To advise of his experience of undergoing a Coronavirus test and to praise how well it worked.

 

(c)   The importance of improvements to the road network in order to keep Dover clear and moving in future.

 

(d)  To welcome the jobs that the Inland Border Control Facility would bring to the district while recognising that actions must be taken to mitigate the impact on the road network. He would be making his formal response to the Department for Transport following the Extraordinary Council meeting on 9 February 2021.

 

(e)  To advise that a new Head of Port Health and Public Protection had been appointed.

 

(f)    That he was impressed with the quality of the 8 new interim accommodation flats on Folkestone Road and to note that there were now all occupied. The flats were named after Cuthbert Ottaway, who had been the first captain of the England football team and had been born in Dover. This was part of the Council’s commitment to end its reliance on bed and breakfast accommodation. The issue of housing was vital given the potential for increased homelessness and the Council had set a target of building 500 new affordable homes.

 

(g)  To recognise the excellent work being undertaken by the Council since the housing service had returned in-house to turn around the service. It was noted that despite the pandemic the void period was easing and 47 homes were being made ready for letting.

 

(h)  To advise that the Government was changing its focus on the allocation of housing targets and that the council was waiting on new district numbers.

 

(i)    To encourage everyone to participate in the Local Plan consultation process and to thank the Head of Planning, Regeneration and Development and her team for their hard work. The consultation process had been changed in light of the pandemic but efforts had been taken to ensure as many as possible could be involved including the provision of a telephone number for those who could not respond online.

 

(j)    That the Council was committed to reducing emissions and to advise that the Cabinet had approved the Climate Change Strategy. It was recognised that there would be challenges in reducing emissions and emphasised that everyone would need to work together to do this. The Council was looking at making its homes more energy efficient and was looking at ways it could decarbonise. There had been funding secured for the installation of 49 electric charging points in the district.

 

(k)   That the Council would host a virtual event on 3 March  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

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:

There were no notifications of seat allocations or group appointments.

34.

Questions from the Public pdf icon PDF 323 KB

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

 

The questions received from the public are set out in the agenda paper.

Minutes:

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

 

“Recently the important anniversary was passed when the famous British “Unknown Warrior” made his train journey from Dover to London.

 

It was not commemorated as planned due to the restrictions, therefore, I propose that the short Approach Road from Folkestone Road to the Railway Station along with the Railway area in front of Dover Priory Railway Station be called “Unknown Warrior Way” to commemorate the fact that the train passed through the station from Dover Marine Station on the journey to London.

 

The Railway have been supportive and co-operative. Therefore, I ask will you as Leader of DDC support this naming to mark an important historic Dover event?”

 

In response Councillor T J Bartlett stated

 

“I would like to thank Graham for bringing this matter to our attention and highlighting the role which Dover played in the journey of the unknown warrior to his final resting place in Westminster Abbey.

 

It is very sad that this event was not able to be commemorated as we would have wished due to the pandemic.

 

Whilst I welcome the suggestion being made, the area he has proposed is already named as Priory Station Approach Road. The event is already marked by a plaque erected by the Dover Society in 1997.”

 

 

(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:

 

The development of a Climate Change Strategy and the inclusion of a chapter on Climate Change within the draft Local Plan are welcomed by many residents in the district concerned by the climate and ecological emergency. The role of local councils and climate action partnerships between residents and their local representatives is key, as organisations as diverse as the Local Government Information Unit and Friends of the Earth have pointed out, in order to build back better and fairer after Covid. Will the Leader and the wider Council agree to receive brief reports feeding back to Dover District Council on the impact of its Climate Change Strategy and the evolving Action Plan from an independent climate forum of local residents on a quarterly basis starting in May 2021?”

 

In response Councillor T J Bartlett stated

 

“As Sarah is aware, I have been pleased to champion the importance of the climate change agenda by chairing the Climate Change Working Group and I have welcomed her involvement as a member of this working group.

 

I welcome her suggestion regarding providing feedback to the group - and we will be discussing this at our working group meeting on Tuesday and how we take this forward.”

 

35.

Council Tax Base pdf icon PDF 646 KB

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

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 18.6 (voting on budget decisions) a recorded vote will be held in respect of this item.

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (Corporate Resources) presented the report on the Council Tax Base.

 

It was moved by Councillor C A Vinson, duly seconded by Councillor D Hannent, and

 

RESOLVED:  (a)   That for the financial year 2021/22, the empty homes discount for properties unoccupied and unfurnished remain at 0%, so that Council Tax will be payable in full on these properties.

 

                        (b)   That the District's Council Tax Base for 2021/22 be approved as 38,993.94 and the tax base for the towns and parishes in the Council’s administrative area, as set out in the table at Appendix 2 as follows:

 

 

 

Parish

2020/21 Tax Base - using collection rate

2021/22 Tax Base using collection rate

Alkham

304.27

303.93

Ash

1161.21

1177.32

Aylesham

1568.81

1567.16

Capel-Le-Ferne

673.96

677.79

Deal

6828.29

6763.64

Denton-with-Wootton

171.43

177.95

Dover

8299.07

8162.52

Eastry

817.26

807.20

Eythorne

802.60

793.06

Goodnestone

174.43

173.63

Guston

403.13

417.05

Hougham Without

180.70

179.72

Langdon

242.80

237.42

Lydden

257.00

260.97

Nonington

295.03

293.20

Northbourne

270.56

277.73

Preston

380.46

384.78

Ringwould with Kingsdown

1028.01

1025.62

Ripple

148.49

142.39

River

1496.74

1487.93

St Margarets-at-Cliffe

1303.78

1299.06

Sandwich

1940.37

1939.66

Shepherdswell-with-Coldred

765.48

766.76

Sholden

736.50

722.01

Staple

232.89

232.32

Stourmouth

116.46

117.02

Sutton by Dover

304.77

307.89

Temple Ewell

662.04

666.71

Tilmanstone

156.52

159.70

Whitfield

2039.52

2079.88

Wingham

685.90

749.80

Woodnesborough

479.01

494.80

Worth

487.42

490.17

Great Mongeham

274.27

271.50

Walmer

3340.57

3385.65

Total Band D Equivalents

39029.75

38993.94

 

                        (c)   That the “Long Term Empty Premium” for properties that have been left empty and substantially unfurnished be determined as follows:

 

(a)       for periods of 2 years but less than 5 years, a Long-Term Empty Premium to be charged at 100%; and

 

(b)       for periods of 5 years but less than 10 years, a Long-Term Empty Premium to be charged at 200%; and

 

(c)     for periods of 10 years or more a Long-Term Empty Premium to be charged at 300%.

 

(d)     That approval be given to consult on a revision to the current Council Tax Reductions Scheme (CTRS) for the financial year 2021/2022 to embody within the scheme the principal that the income bands within the income grid used in the Scheme are automatically adjusted upwards or downwards from time to time to reflect:

 

(a)  Adjustments of the National Living Wage

 

(b) Adjustments in Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit received by claimants from the government as a COVID support measure.

 

          So that the percentage discount receivable by claimants was not negatively affected by these adjustments to the National Living Wage and adjustments in Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit awarded to claimants by the government as a COVID support measure.

 

          And that accordingly the grid shown at Appendix 4 be substituted for the grid currently in the scheme, with the figures shown to be uplifted by £20 (or any other amount) for any period of 2021/22 to reflect the Government’s adjustments in Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit.

 

In accordance with the requirements of Council Procedure Rule 18.6 (voting on budget decisions) a recorded vote was held  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Acceptance of Waste Services: Delegations from Folkestone and Hythe District Council pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To consider the attached report of the Strategic Director (Operations and Commercial).

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (Operations and Commercial) presented the report on the Acceptance of Waste Services: Delegations from Folkestone and Hythe District Council.

 

Members were advised that the current Joint Working Agreement with Folkestone and Hythe District Council for the management of Waste Service within the two Districts ended in January 2021.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:  (a)   That the continued delegation of the management of the waste services function by the executive of Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) to Dover District Council (DDC) under Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972, Section 9EA Local Government Act 2000 and The Local Authorities (Arrangements for the Discharge of Functions) (England) Regulations 2012 be accepted on the terms outlined in the new draft Joint Working Agreement and to be approved by the Strategic Director (Operations and Commercial) in consultation with the Solicitor to the Council.

 

(b)     That the Strategic Director (Operations and Commercial) be authorised to approve the final terms of the Joint Working Agreement.

 

37.

Draft Calendar of Meetings 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 218 KB

To consider the attached report of the Democratic Services Manager.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager presented the Draft Calendar of Meetings 2021-22. The Draft Calendar of Meetings was for approval in principle prior to its formal approval at the Annual Council meeting in May 2021.

 

Members were advised that amendments to the current Calendar of Meetings for 2020-21 had been proposed due to the counts for the Police and Crime Commissioner and Kent County Council elections.

 

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

 

RESOLVED: (a) That the Draft Calendar of Ordinary Meetings for 2021-22 be approved in principle subject to final ratification at the Annual Meeting of Council on Wednesday 19 May 2021.

 

                     (b)   That the Cabinet and Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting dates scheduled for 10 May 2021 and 17 May 2021 respectively to amended to 17 May 2021 and 24 May 2021 respectively.

38.

Members' Allowances Scheme 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 234 KB

To consider the attached report of the Head of Governance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager presented the Members’ Allowances Scheme 2021-22 report. The levels set out in Appendix 1 of the report were for a zero increase in the Members’ Allowances Scheme, although Members could either raise or lower allowances if that was their intent.

 

Members were advised that as part of the last review an undertaking had been given by officers to review alternative arrangements for the Dependant Carers’ Allowance. This review was with the intention of developing an option for an amended scheme that would ensure that all reasonable actual costs would be reimbursed rather than a proportion of the costs as had been traditionally reimbursed. The proposals and necessary amendments to the Members’ Allowance Scheme for the reimbursement of full costs were set out in Appendix 2 of the report.

 

It was moved by Councillor K Mills, seconded by Councillor S H Beer, and

 

RESOLVED:  (a)   That the Members’ Allowances Scheme 2021-22 be made at the levels set out in Appendix 1 of the report, representing no increase on the 2020-21 levels.

 

                        (b)   That a revised Dependant Carers’ Allowance be adopted as set out in Appendix 2 of the report.

 

39.

FLEXIBLE RETIREMENT OF THE SOLICITOR TO THE COUNCIL AND MONITORING OFFICER pdf icon PDF 365 KB

To consider the attached report of the Head of Paid Service.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service presented the report on the Flexible Retirement of the Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer.

 

It was moved by Councillor C A Vinson, seconded by Councillor K Mills, and

 

RESOLVED:       That the flexible retirement request of the Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer be approved with effect from 1 April 2021, pursuant to the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 2013, Reg. 30(6) and in accordance with the Council’s Pension Discretion Policy Statement.

(The Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer withdrew from the meeting during the consideration of this item of business.)

40.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 192 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 P Walker asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett:

 

“Given the intended creation of the Border Force facility near the A2 and Dover, what commitment has been assured to DDC, by the Government, about the dualling of the A2 between Lydden and Dover?”

 

In response the Leader of the Council stated:

 

“The need to dual the section of the A2 between Lydden and Dover has been repeatedly raised by the Council over many years.

 

Whilst the government has indicated that the scheme will be indicated in the next Roads Investment Strategy programme, we will continue to make the case until this is confirmed.

 

This will I am sure be a point that councillors will wish to make when we discuss the Council’s response to the proposed Inland Border Facility at the Extraordinary Council meeting.”

 

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

 

(2)  Councillor P Walker asked the Portfolio Holder for Transport, Licensing and Community, Councillor N J Collor:

 

Can the Portfolio Holder for Transport, Licensing and Community update the Council on what progress is being made on improving the road system within the District given the inherent pressures created from the start of 2021?”

                                                               

In response the Portfolio Holder for Transport, Licensing and Community stated:

 

I assume that the unacceptable situation experienced in the few days before Christmas has prompted this question.

 

We have been making representation at many levels since then, including the to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster where we are lobbying for improvements to the strategic road network, particularly the A2 using the banner – KEEP DOVER CLEAR.

 

As Cllr Walker will appreciate, responsibility for roads in the Dover District is held by both Highways England and Kent County Council.

 

We periodically receive information on improvements to the A2 and A20 from Highways England that, upon receipt, is circulated to all members by DDC officers. The KCC Network programme is regularly reported with updates and the proposals for the coming year will shortly be appearing on an agenda for the Dover Joint Transportation Advisory Board that, again, is available to all Members on ModGov.

 

Notification of all forthcoming roadworks when received from both Highways England and KCC are circulated with urgency to all DDC members.”

 

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

 

(3)  Councillor P Walker asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett:

 

According to reports in the press, Dover District Council will be putting £475,000 into climate emergency initiatives compared to Canterbury City Council’s £200 million. Will the Leader of DDC inform the Council how the amount of £475,000 will deliver these initiatives in what is also hoped will also be a climate friendly recovery  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Motions pdf icon PDF 196 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:

Motion 1

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13, Councillor H M Williams moved the Motion of which she had given notice as followed:

“We would like to acknowledge and thank the many DDC officers and staff on the ground, and the Veolia contract staff, for their hard work cleaning up the mess in Dover resulting from the lorry gridlock of our town before Christmas.

 

We would also like to register our dismay and concern that the plans from D O T, Highways England, Police and KCC for dealing with emergencies at our port were not effective and resulted in serious environmental problems (hygiene, rubbish, air pollution), as well as a gridlock.

 

DDC must demand a review of the whole procedure leading to the chaos and gridlock that occurred in Dover over the Christmas period, so that lessons are learnt from what happened. This should be acted upon to ensure that there is a strategy in place to ensure such a situation does not happen again; residents and the council must be fully informed of this new strategy.”

 

The Motion was duly seconded by Councillor K Mills.

 

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

 

(a)  Paragraph 2 be amended so as to read “We have registered” instead of “We would also like to register”

 

(b)  Paragraph 3 be amended so as to read “DDC has already demanded” instead of “DDC must demand”

 

On being put to the vote the AMENDMENT was CARRIED.

 

The SUBSTANTIVE Motion was put to the meeting and

 

RESOLVED: “We would like to acknowledge and thank the many DDC officers and staff on the ground, and the Veolia contract staff, for their hard work cleaning up the mess in Dover resulting from the lorry gridlock of our town before Christmas.

 

                        We have registered our dismay and concern that the plans from D O T, Highways England, Police and KCC for dealing with emergencies at our port were not effective and resulted in serious environmental problems (hygiene, rubbish, air pollution), as well as a gridlock.

 

                        DDC has already demanded a review of the whole procedure leading to the chaos and gridlock that occurred in Dover over the Christmas period, so that lessons are learnt from what happened. This should be acted upon to ensure that there is a strategy in place to ensure such a situation does not happen again; residents and the council must be fully informed of this new strategy.”

 

Motion 2

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13, Councillor S H Beer moved the Motion of which she had given notice as followed:

 

“As part of the Overview and Scrutiny review into Food Poverty in the district, on 11 January, we heard from the CEO of Dover and Deal CAB (Citizens Advice Bureaux) that demand for their services has risen by 12% each year for several years.

 

The CAB is therefore under severe pressure. Due to the COVID pandemic there has been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

Urgent Business Time pdf icon PDF 83 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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