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To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J S Back, S J Jones, N S Kenton, S C Manion, O C de R Richardson and C D Zosseder.
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2022 (to follow).
To receive any declarations of interest from Members in respect of business to be transacted on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest made by Members.
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.
The Chairman of the Council, Councillor M D Conolly, made the following announcements:
(a) To congratulate Ruby Monger of Aylesham on winning the World Association of Kickboxing Organisations Junior World Championships in Italy. He advised that he had written to congratulate her on her success.
(b) To congratulate Woodpecker Court School on being rated outstanding in all categories. He advised that the Department for Education was looking at it as a model for other schools. He advised that he visited the school in the previous year.
(c) To advise the Council of the sad news of the deaths of former district councillors Mick Smith (Buckland Ward, 2007 - 2015) and John Goodwin (Tower Hamlets Ward, 2007 - 2015). Members spoke of their fond memories of the two former councillors.
The Chairman asked Members to stand in silence as a mark of respect.
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).
The Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett, included the following matters in his report:
(a) To thank those Councillors who supported and voted for the Local Plan at the meeting of the full Council the previous week. The Local Plan established the general scale and distribution of new development which was required to meet Districts needs to 2040. The Local Plan was available for inspection from Friday 21 October to Friday 9 December 2022. He thanked the Policy and Projects Manager and her team for their hard work in getting the Local Plan to this stage.
(b) To wish Alan Kemp the best for his retirement. Mr Kemp had been with the Council since 8 July 1974 in a variety of roles and had retired on 30 September 2022.
(c) That he had attended the Dover Jobs and Skill Fair held jointly with the Department for Work and Pensions, Dover Harbour Board and East Kent College. The Fair had been attended by over 700 people with 800 jobs on offer from 60 exhibitors. He thanked Stagecoach for providing a free shuttle bus service from the town centre throughout the day and emphasised the importance of partnership working between the Council and other organisations.
(d) To advise that Dover Port Health authority had needed to reduce its number of employees and was not be able to use the newly renovated building that it had been expected to move to. The Council had written in May to the Prime Minister and raised several urgent concerns. Although a response was received the Council was still waiting for a more detailed response to the issues raised.
(e) To advise that earlier in October 2022 the Dover Port Health Authority had taken part in a multi-agency exercise at the Port of Dover and had seized 2 ½ tonnes of illegal pork products over a single weekend. The seizure was from only 22 vehicles as part of the work to mitigate the risk of African swine fever entering the UK. The local MP, Natalie Elphicke, raised this in Parliament and called for greater investment in border controls, highlighting three areas of concern - the illegal entry of people, preparation for new checks on legal travellers and preventing the importation of illegal dangerous food and goods.
(f) To advise that the community team had been working with 30 different agencies in respect of the cost of living crisis. A number of independent local charities were holding ‘Heat Eat and Meet’ events encouraging residents to save energy and money as well as providing an opportunity for people to interact with other people. Additionally, many church groups had set up Warm Banks to support people.
(g) To highlight the work being undertaken by community services in respect of the Inspire Project which had helped over 2,000 individuals. He thanked everyone who had made the work of the Inspire Project possible.
(h) That the community team had been recognised for its work at the Reconnect Awards evening where ... view the full minutes text for item 42.
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).)
There were no changes made to seat allocations or group appointments.
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 during the notice period are set out in the agenda papers.
(1) In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, a question from Sarah Waite-Gleave was put to the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett:
“DDC cllrs unanimously in Jan 2020 agreed to make the whole district zero carbon by 2050 and the DDC estate zero carbon by 2030 to limit the extent of the climate crisis. And this was wholely in line with the recommendations of our late much-loved Queen at the start of the UN Climate summit on 1st Nov 2021. In line with those commitments, Will the council now a) Oppose as a matter of council policy any initiatives to develop fracking for shale gas as this will perpetuate our reliance on fossil fuels whilst failing to provide relief to those struggling with fuel bills (as the tiny contribution such activity would make to the world market would not effect prices), and b) Endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a global initiative to phase out fossil fuels and support a just transition, and write to ministers and our local MPs to urge the UK government to support this initiative?”
In response, the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Governance, Digital and Climate Change, Councillor C A Vinson stated:
“This Council has a longstanding commitment to protect our natural environment, and we are proud of our record in doing so. In January 2020 we committed to support the district to reduce its emissions, and for the Council to become a net zero carbon emitter by 2030. We have nearly halved our carbon emissions over the past 10 years and through the work of our Climate Change Project Advisory Group we continue to make progress towards our target.
The Council’s policy on any proposals to develop fracking for shale gas in our District was agreed at a Full Council meeting in November 2013 following detailed work undertaken by the Scrutiny Committee. The Council noted that any such plans would be a matter for KCC to determine, not DDC, but agreed that it would expect proposals to include an independent assessment of the impact on issues such as groundwater, noise, air pollution and traffic.
The points raised reflect the concerns of many local residents, and the decision taken by the Council still stands. Indeed, the Regulation 19 version of the Local Plan agreed by this Council last week links to the adopted Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan, under which such proposals would be considered. That being said, I think it’s important to note that there are currently no such proposals anywhere in the Dover district, and the British Geological Survey indicates that there are no shale gas reserves, licences or study areas within our District boundaries.
On the question of endorsing the initiative calling for a Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty, I agree that this is an important issue worthy of consideration and I will ask the Climate Change Policy Advisory Group to review the detail at their next meeting and advise on the approach they believe the Council ... view the full minutes text for item 44.
Up to 60 minutes is allowed for this part of the meeting unless extended by the Chairman of the Council or 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 order received in the agenda papers.
In accordance with Rule 12(1) of the Council Procedure Rules, Members of the Cabinet responded to the following questions:
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.
The Motions received are set out in the agenda papers.
(1) In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.2 (Motions on Notice) in the absence of Councillor C D Zosseder her Motion was treated as withdrawn.
(2) Councillor H M Williams gave notice under Rule 13 of the Council Procedure Rules of her intention to move the following motion:
“DDC councillors completely oppose fracking in any land within our council area, and will oppose any planning application for this.”
The Motion was seconded by Councillor K Mills.
Members discussed the following points:
· The importance of planning applications being considered on their own merit without pre-determination.
· The Council’s currently adopted position on fracking.
· That Kent County Council not Dover District Council would be responsible for considering such applications.
· The importance of setting out Dover District Council’s position on fracking.
· That the government had indicated the importance of local public support for fracking and that this Motion would set out the Council’s position in respect of it.
On being put to the meeting, the Motion was LOST.
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18.4 six Members present requested a recorded vote. The manner of voting was as follows:
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
Appointment of Strategic Director
To consider the attached report of the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service.
The Chief Executive presented the report on the Appointment of a Strategic Director.
RESOLVED: (a) That subject to the Executive Leader raising no objection to the proposed appointment on behalf of the executive, pursuant to Prescribed Standing Orders (Executive Arrangements), that the recommendation of the General Purposes Committee be accepted and Louise May be appointed as Strategic Director.
(b) That the appointment be effective on the earlier of:
(i) The receipt of notification from the executive leader within the period specified in the notice referred to in paragraph 2.15 that neither he nor any member of the executive has any objection to the proposed appointment or,
(ii) The period specified in the notice referred to in paragraph 2.15 expiring with no objections having been received.
Following the conclusion of the item of business for which the press and public were excluded pursuant to Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, it is recommended that Members pass a resolution for the readmittance of the press and public.
It was moved by Councillor M F Hibbert, duly seconded by Councillor R S Walkden and
RESOLVED: That the press and public be readmitted to the meeting for the remaining items of business.
To consider the attached report of the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service.
The Chief Executive presented the report on Changes to the Chief Officer Structure.
It was moved by Councillor C A Vinson, duly seconded by Councillor P D Jull and
RESOLVED: (a) That the re-distribution of functions between the Chief Officers who form the Council’s Corporate Management Team be approved.
(b) That the resultant changes to Article 12 and the Scheme of Officer Delegations (Council Functions) as outlined in the Appendices of the report be approved.
To consider any other items deemed by the Chairman of the Council to be urgent in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972.
There were no items of urgent business for consideration.