Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 31st January, 2024 6.00 pm

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Media

Items
No. Item

48.

Apologies pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor C F Woodgate.

49.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meetings held on 18 October 2023 and 29 November 2023 (to follow).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meetings held on 18 October 2023 and 29 November 2023 were approved as a correct record for signing by the Chairman.

50.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 55 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.

 

51.

Announcements pdf icon PDF 57 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 announced with great sadness the death of two former district councillors.

 

(1)  Death of former District Councillor George E Ruck

 

Councillor Ruck (Labour Party) had represented the Dover River Ward between 1973 – 1979 and St Radigund’s Ward between 1979 – 1983. During his service on the Council he had served on the following committees:

 

·         Leisure and Recreation Committee 1974 – 1980, 1981 – 1983

·         Policy and Resources Committee 1980 – 1981

·         Working Party on Tourism 1982 - 1983

·         Finance Sub-Committee 1974 – 1975, 1977 – 1980

·         Planning Committee 1975 – 1983

He was also a former Mayor of Dover.

 

Councillor K Mills advised that while he had not been on the Council during Councillor Ruck’s time, he had known him following his time as a district councillor. He spoke to Councillor Ruck’s commitment to serving the people of Dover and expressed his sympathies to Councillor Ruck’s family.

 

Councillor T J Bartlett advised that while he didn’t know Councillor Ruck personally, he was a well-known character in Dover and expressed his sympathies to Councillor Ruck’s family.

 

(2)  Death of former District Councillor Sue Delling

 

Councillor Delling (Labour Party) had represented the Mill Hill Ward between 2003 – 2007. During her service on the Council she had served on the following committees:

 

·         Planning Committee 2003 – 2005, 2006-7

·         Regulatory Committee 2005 – 06

·         Scrutiny (Performance) Committee 2005 – 06

·         Licensing Committee 2005 – 07

 

She was also a former Mayor of Deal.

Councillor K Mills read out a statement from Councillor P M Brivio who was absent from the meeting as she was still travelling back from Councillor Delling’s funeral which had been held earlier that day. He spoke to Councillor Dellings caring nature and her commitment to the people of Deal. One of her main legacies was helping with the achievement of Fairtrade status for Deal in 2010. He expressed his sympathies to her family.

 

Councillor T J Bartlett spoke to Councillor Delling’s commitment to Fairtrade and the people of Deal. He expressed his sympathies to her family.

 

The Chairman asked Members to stand in silence as a mark of respect for the two former district councillors.

52.

Leader's Time pdf icon PDF 89 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 K Mills, included the following matters in his report:

 

(a)  To welcome the new staff who had joined the Council. He stressed that the most important asset for any organisation was its staff. He also thanked those that had left the organisation for their service. He expressed regret that the advice he had been provided meant that he couldn’t identify any specific individuals by name without their permission as he would have liked to do so.

 

(b)  That the introduction of the European Entry Exit System (EES) from October 2024 would be major concern for the district. He would be meeting with residents and businesses about it. However, DDC was not the highways authority or the police authority. He would be inviting the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) to address local business and residents about it as he was not satisfied with how traffic has been managed in the past. He stressed the importance of junctions being policed and that large lorries should not be allowed into the town. He advocated that Sevington should be used as an overflow carpark. Residents of Aycliffe and Capel had been adversely impacted by traffic in TAP, etc. in the past. He called upon all groups to work together to achieve a resolution.

 

(c)   That he had written to the Chancellor to ask for an extension to the Household Support Grant which was due to end in March 2024. It had been a vital lifeline for those families in need.

 

(d)  To welcome Laser Light Communications Inc to the district who were opening a cutting-edge communications centre in the district. It would create 80 high end jobs at the Western Heights.

 

(e)  To express concern that there was no update on the Levelling Up Fund bid for the Port of Dover as there was a time limit on this funding.

 

(f)    To thank staff for their hard work at Christmas 2023. He felt that the Council had a lot to offer the community and that programmes could be expanded further. The Council could when working with other organisations deliver much more.

 

(g)  To reflect on the Deal Christmas Tree. The tree delivered was not what had been ordered and it was corrected within 48 hours with the help of a local trader.

 

(h)  To thank all those that responded to the Car Parking charge proposals. The Car Parking Strategy review, which had been funded for the last 18 months but not undertaken, would now go ahead. There would be consultation with the town and parish councils over the proposals.

 

(i)    To advise that following Cabinet accepting the recommendation from Overview and Scrutiny Committee in respect of the Special Designated Road status, he had written an open letter to the Government. The local MP also wrote three days later to advocate for the same thing. The Junior Transport Minister had visited the district but was too busy to meet with the Council’s leadership or officers.

The Leader of the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Seat Allocation and Group Appointments pdf icon PDF 37 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:

Councillor T J Bartlett, duly seconded by Councillor C A Vinson, advised the following changes to Conservative Group appointments:

 

Committee

Change

General Purposes Committee

D R Friend (replaces D P Murphy)

General Purposes Committee

M P Porter (replaces M W Rose)

 

RESOLVED: That the following changes to Conservative Group nominations be agreed:

 

Committee

Change

General Purposes Committee

D R Friend (replaces D P Murphy)

General Purposes Committee

M P Porter (replaces M W Rose)

 

54.

Questions from the Public pdf icon PDF 51 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 during the notice period are set out in the agenda papers.

 

Minutes:

QUESTION 1

 

RAISED BY GRAHAM WANSTALL, A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC, UNDER COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULE 11:

“2024 marks a century since Pencester Gardens was opened to the public in 1924. What plans does Dover District Council have to celebrate this important anniversary for Dover?”

RESPONSE FROM THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL, COUNCILLOR K MILLS:

“Thank you for drawing attention to the forthcoming anniversary of the opening by Major Astor of Pencester Gardens, built in the aftermath of WW1 on the site of a former timber yard and tannery in the centre of Dover.

We do intend to mark this anniversary and are currently reviewing a range of ideas for an appropriate way to do this.”

A supplementary question was asked in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.8.

55.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 55 KB

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.

Minutes:

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

 

QUESTION 1

COUNCILLOR D G BEANEY ASKED THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER FOR COMMUNITY AND CORPORATE SERVICES, COUNCILLOR C D ZOSSEDER:

Please could the portfolio holder explain what steps she has taken to address the use of the main Kearsney Abbey car park by Southern Water sewage tankers, which caused a significant reduction in the number of available parking spaces over the Christmas holidays and continue to limit visitor numbers to this award-winning park?”

IN RESPONSE THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER FOR COMMUNITY AND CORPORATE SERVICES, COUNCILLOR C D ZOSSEDER, STATED:

The Southern Water tankers have been in use to relieve pressures in the sewage system caused by ground water entering the system due to recent high levels of rainfall. This is in accordance with the measures set out in their Alkham Valley Infiltration Reduction Plan.

Without the tankers moving the mix of ground and foul water to another part of the system, such as the Kearsney Abbey Wastewater Pumping Station, there is a significant risk of overflow and a pollution incident.

In the circumstances it is not appropriate for the Council to inhibit or hamper this work in any way and increase the risks of pollution.

Naturally there is the wider issue as to whether privatised utilities such as Southern Water are performing as well as they should and in the public interest and I am grateful to Councillor Beaney for raising the general point – but we must accept the current urgent work, unless the Councillor is suggesting we should try to prevent Southern Water accessing their pumping station?”

A supplementary question was asked in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.6.

 

QUESTION 2

COUNCILLOR M BATES ASKED THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER FOR TRANSPORT, LICENSING AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, COUNCILLOR J L POUT:

“Can the portfolio holder provide any data as to the amount of diseased meat that Port Health along with Border Force intercepted in 2023?”

IN RESPONSE THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER FOR TRANSPORT, LICENSING AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, COUNCILLOR J L POUT, STATED:

“Thank you for your question. No data exists that would confirm if the meat we have intercepted is diseased. If meat intercepted is identified as illegal (because it doesn’t comply with import controls) it is destroyed with minimal further handling (such as sampling to determine if it were diseased).

The total weight of meat and meat products intercepted at Dover, since the legislation came into effect in September 2022 to 27th January 2024, is 65,590.47kg.

If the Shadow Portfolio holder requires additional details, or data for a specific time-period i.e. a calendar year, or a financial year, or a specific month, the team would be happy to assist and or provide this information as part of the scheduled Shadow briefings.”

 

A supplementary question was asked in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.6.

 

QUESTION 3

COUNCILLOR M BATES ASKED THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL, COUNCILLOR K MILLS:

“Can the Leader of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Draft Calendar of Meetings 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider the attached report of the Head of Corporate Services and Democracy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report on the Draft Calendar of Meetings 2024/25 was presented by the Head of Corporate Services and Democracy.

 

Members were advised that there was alteration to the dates in the agenda papers to move the Licensing Committee meeting scheduled for 27 November 2024 to 16 October 2024.

 

It was moved by Councillor J L Pout, seconded by Councillor K Mills, and

 

RESOLVED:       That the Draft Calendar of Ordinary Meetings for 2024-25, with the amendment to move the Licensing Committee meeting scheduled for 27 November 2024 to 16 October 2024, be approved in principle subject to final ratification at the Annual Meeting of Council on Wednesday 22 May 2024.

57.

REVISION TO CONTRACT STANDING ORDERS pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To consider the attached joint report of the Head of Finance & Investment and the Monitoring Officer.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report on the Revision to Contract Standing Orders was presented by the Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer.

 

It was moved by Councillor J L Pout, duly seconded by Councillor S H Beer, and

 

RESOLVED:   That the revised Contract Standing Orders be adopted.

58.

RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To consider the attached report of the Head of Corporate Services and Democracy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report on the Risk Management Strategy was presented by the Head of Corporate Services and Democracy.

 

It was moved by Councillor S H Beer, duly seconded by Councillor J L Pout, and

 

RESOLVED: (a)     That the Council adopt the new Risk Management Strategy and accompanying tool kit.

 

                        (b)     That the Risk Management Strategy be incorporated into the Local Code of Corporate Governance.

 

 

59.

COUNCIL TAX BASE AND COUNCIL TAX REDUCTION SCHEME 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To consider the attached report of the Strategic Director (Finance and Housing).

 

Section 106 Local Government Finance Act 1992

Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to this item of business. If any member of the Council who is present at the meeting at which this report is considered owes any sum in respect of council tax which has remained unpaid for at least two months, they shall at the meeting and as soon as practicable after its commencement disclose the fact that section 106 applies to them and shall not vote on any question with respect to the matter.

 

Recorded Vote

A recorded vote will be required in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18.6 (Voting on Budget Decisions).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report on the Council Tax Base and Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2024/25 was presented by the Strategic Director (Finance and Housing).

 

It was moved by Councillor J L Pout, duly seconded by Councillor S H Beer, and

 

RESOLVED:  (a)     Determine that for the financial year 2024/25, the empty homes discount for properties unoccupied and unfurnished (‘Class C’ properties) remains at 0%, so that Council Tax will be payable in full on these properties.

 

(b)     Approve the District's Council Tax Base for 2024/25 as 40,874.50 and the tax base for the towns and parishes in the Council’s administrative area, as set out in the table at Appendix 2.

 

(c)     Formally approves the application of the 100% Council Tax premium on properties empty for 1 year but less than 5 years, applicable from 1 April 2024, in line with the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act 2023.

 

Determines the “Long Term Empty Premium” for properties that have been left empty and substantially unfurnished:

 

(i)    for periods of 1 year but less than 5 years, a Long Term Empty premium to be charged at 100%; and

 

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

 

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

 

 

(d)     Formally approves ceasing new applications for the council Tax ‘Class D’ discount, for properties undergoing structural alteration and/or major repair, on 1 April 2024.

 

(e)     Formally approves the CTRS as set out in this report, effective from 1 April 2024.

 

(f)      Formally approves the application of a 100% Council Tax premium on properties that are unoccupied and furnished, often referred to as ‘second homes’ (‘Class B’ properties), applicable from 1 April 2025, in line with the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act 2023.

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18.6 (Voting on Budget Decisions) a recorded vote was held, the result of which was as followed:

 

FOR (31)

AGAINST (0)

ABSTAIN (0)

J S Back

 

 

T J Bartlett

 

 

M Bates

 

 

D G Beaney

 

 

S H Beer

 

 

E A Biggs

 

 

S B Blair

 

 

P M Brivio

 

 

G Cowan

 

 

D G Cronk

 

 

D R Friend

 

 

M F Hibbert

 

 

S Hill

 

 

N S Kenton

 

 

R M Knight

 

 

J P Loffman

 

 

S M S Mamjan

 

 

S C Manion

 

 

K Mills

 

 

M W Moorhouse

 

 

D P Murphy

 

 

M J Nee

 

 

D J Parks

 

 

M P Porter

 

 

J L Pout

 

 

O C de R Richardson

 

 

M Rose

 

 

C A Vinson

 

 

H M Williams

 

 

L M Wright

 

 

C D Zosseder

 

 

 

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Council Tax Base and Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2024/25 Resolution Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 60.

    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.