Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 19th July, 2023 6.00 pm

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No. Item


Apologies pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors D G Beaney, M F Hibbert and C F Woodgate.


Members were advised that Councillors M W Moorhouse and O C de R Richardson would be arriving late.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 May 2023 (to follow).

Additional documents:


The Minutes of the meeting held on 17 May 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


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.


There were no declarations of interest made by Members.


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.


The Chairman of the Council announced the sad news of the death of former councillor Harry T Hubbard, who had represented the Lydden and Temple Ewell Ward for the Conservatives from 1979 – 1995.


Councillor Hubbard had served as Vice-Chairman of the Council in 1988 – 89. In his 16 years on the Council, he had served on numerous committees and had chaired the Leisure and Recreation Committee and the Tourism and Amenities Committees in the 1980s.


Councillors K Mills and G Cowan, who served on the council with Councillor Hubbard, and Councillor T J Bartlett shared their memories of him and spoke to his service on the Council and his local community.




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).


The Leader of the Council, Councillor K Mills, included the following matters in his report:


(a)  To thank officers for their support since he was appointed Leader of the Council at the Annual Meeting of the Council.


(b)  To advise that he had attended both the Inspire and Triangle Awards and had been pleased at the good work that was being recognised. He was particularly pleased to see individuals that had turned their lives around as a result and emphasised the importance of young people for the future of the district.


(c)   To thank Kent County Council for supporting the impact roadshow, which had received very positive feedback.


(d)  To update Members on the progress of the Afghan Resettlement Programme. The district would be receiving its first families in August. The Council’s delivery plan was recognised as best practice.


(e)  To welcome the successful performance of the out of hours service since returning in-house in July. There had been a 50% increase in the number of calls dealt with since returning in-house.


(f)    To congratulate the CCTV team on its work with partners to make residents in the district safer.


(g)  To advise that he had met with the Port of Dover and hoped that the Council could work with them on easing congestion.


(h)  To advise that discussions were on-going with the Government over the future location of the Port Health Authority role and to express his firm support for it being with Dover District Council rather than Ashford Borough Council.   


(i)    To advise that he attended a Short Straits meeting.


(j)    That he had attended the Annual Meeting of Sandwich Town Council.


(k)   That he had met with the Leader of Kent County Council (KCC), Councillor Gough, and told him of Dover District Council’s ambitions for the future. They discussed the impact of KCC’s budget deficit on services and the Dover District and the proposed devolution bid. He emphasised the importance of the system of devolution being the right one and that he had concerns over the proposed combined authority model.


(l)    That he had attended a public meeting that had been organised in respect of the closure proposals for the Richborough Household Waste site. He had reiterated Dover District Council's opposition to those proposals at the public meeting. He expressed disappointment that there were no conservative councillors at the public meeting. He expressed the view that the district needed to be united in its opposition to the proposals to close either of the Deal or Richborough Household Waste sites and called up the conservative group to support opposition to the closures.


(m) That the Beacon Project needed to be delivered on time and on budget.


(n)  That he had met with other Kent Leaders and that the priority for all the districts was jobs and housing.



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


(a)  That he was pleased to hear that new Members were settling in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


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).)


There were no changes to seat allocations or group appointments.


Questions from the Public pdf icon PDF 112 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.



(1)  In the absence of the individual who had given the notice of their intent to ask the question, it was not put to the meeting.


(2)  In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, a question from Christine Oliver was put to the Leader of the Council, Councillor K Mills:


“Will DDC leaders support the Climate & Ecology Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 10 May? It is a vital, new, cross-party proposal—drafted by world-leading scientists—to ensure that the UK plays its full role in tackling biodiversity loss and climate change.


There is a gap between what is currently being delivered—and what the Government needs to do to act in line with the latest science. The Climate and Ecology Bill, or CE Bill, would:


1)    Provide a clear, joined-up plan—the crises in climate and nature are deeply intertwined, requiring a plan that considers both together. Reduce UK emissions in line with the Paris Agreement—ensuring that UK emissions are reduced rapidly, for the best chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C.

2)    Halt and reverse the decline in nature—setting nature measurably on the path to recovery by 2030, as agreed at COP15.

3)    Ensure that the UK takes responsibility for our overseas footprint—both emissions and ecological.

4)    Involve the public—giving people a say in finding a fair way forward through a ‘climate and nature assembly’.

In response the Leader of the Council, K Mills, provided the following answer:


“Thank you for your question and for your interest in this vital issue.


The Council declared a Climate Emergency in early 2020 and has been developing since then it’s plans to respond to the challenge that this poses for us all.


As the new Leader of the Council, it is clear to me that we need to move the agenda forward across the Council with renewed vigour.


As a first step, we have recently advertised for a new Climate Change Officer with interviews due to take place in the next few days. This will strengthen our ability to look outward as well as within because, if we are to drive significant reductions in emissions, we need to take a proactive approach and start to influence the supply chain and encourage behaviour change across all our communities.


Adaptation is key as the changes we need to make will impact on all our services as we seek to embed new ways of working across the Council.


As regards the Climate and Ecology Bill, as a private members bill it seems unlikely that this will progress through parliament. However, I support the ambition of those promoting the Bill including Olivia Blake MP, the Labour member for Sheffield Hallam.”


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


(3)  In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, a question from Sarah Waite-Gleave was put to the Leader of the Council, Councillor K Mills:


“Will the new DDC leadership heed the call of Dover district’s many climate concerned citizens, to replace the closeted Climate Change PAG  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


Update to Corporate Complaints Policy pdf icon PDF 73 KB

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

Additional documents:


The Strategic Director (Corporate and Regulatory) presented the report on the Update to the Corporate Complaints Policy.


Members were advised that when the Complaints Policy was revised in July 2022 it was highlighted that the removal of the third stage in the complaints process then in force for housing complaints was due to be removed by provisions in The Building Safety Act 2022 that had not yet come into force. Those provisions had subsequently come into effect.


The report also sought to make an additional change to bring the policy into line with the Housing Ombudsman’s recommended practice for written acknowledgements of housing complaints.


It was moved by Councillor S H Beer, duly seconded by Councillor C D Zosseder, and


RESOLVED:   That the amended Complaints Policy be adopted in respect of Council functions.




Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 68 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.


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 Transport, Licensing and Environmental Services, Councillor J L Pout:


“The Examination for National Highways’ Lower Thames Crossing Development Consent Order (DCO) application commenced on 20th June 2023. KCC have been requested to provide a corporate response during the examination process and stakeholders were requested to provide their contributions by 16th June. Can the Portfolio Holder for Transport confirm that, as part of this process, DDC have forwarded a request to KCC that they emphasise within their submission that the significant impact to the volume of traffic which will use the M2/A2 corridor must be considered and that improvements to the current road network to the Port of Dover must therefore be included within the RIS3 programme?”


In response Councillor J L Pout stated:


“I believe Cllr Bates knows we have made a representation to KCC as he signed off on this pre-election when he was the portfolio holder for transport.  


Yes, KCC has been provided with Dover District Council’s ‘relevant representation’ response, which was submitted in February 2023 and emphasised these matters. KCC has confirmed the points raised will continue to be included in their submissions.”


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



(2)   Councillor M Bates asked the Portfolio Holder for Transport, Licensing and Environmental Services, Councillor J L Pout:


Following the receipt of £45 million pound in levelling up funding we have received very little in the way of concrete information as to how this funding is to be used in order to improve the flow of traffic into and out of the Port of Dover. Given that the summer rush is almost upon us can the Portfolio Holder for Transport please provide an update as to how discussions are proceeding with KCC and Dover Harbour Board concerning the provision of new port infrastructure and whether any timescales have been produced as to when this work will be completed?


In response Councillor J L Pout stated:


Thank you for your excellent question, its just a shame that Cllr Mills beat you to it by first asking this very same question during his opposition time at Full council in January 2023. 


The then leader, Cllr Bartlett, invited KCC to give a presentation, and in March 2023 reiterated his commitment to have KCC give more information. Its disappointing that this never happened as you would have already had your answer.


As you have noted, the government announced in January the award of £45m from the Levelling up Fund for an upgrade to border facilities at the Port.


The bid was submitted by Kent County Council, working with the Port of Dover, and is intended to enable the provision of new infrastructure, as an enhancement to the existing Port Access Infrastructure, to support new customs controls on goods moving between the UK and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Motions pdf icon PDF 70 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.


The Motions received are set out in the agenda papers.


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13, Councillor C A Vinson moved the following Motion:


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13, Councillor will move:


This Council notes that:


-          Openness is one of the 7 Nolan Principles of public life, which states that information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for doing so.

-          The Accounts and Audits Regulations 2015 require the Council to maintain an adequate and effective system of internal audit.

-          The Council’s Constitution requires the Governance Committee to receive internal audit reports, approve the audit programme and ensure the internal audit service is sufficiently resourced. It also requires the Committee to agree and periodically review the Terms of Reference for the internal audit function.

-          At present, Portfolio Holders and Shadow Portfolio Holders are not always involved in the internal audit process and completed reports on Council services and functions are not consistently shared with them once finalised.


As such, this Council believes that:


-          The East Kent Audit Partnership is an excellent example of how cross-authority shared services arrangements can work well for the benefit of the Council, its Members, Officers and the public they serve.

-          In line with the Nolan principle of openness, internal audit reports should be routinely shared with the relevant portfolio holder and shadow portfolio upon completion


And agrees that:


-          The Council’s Financial Procedure Rules, as set out in the Constitution, should be amended to replace the current clause 4.5 with the following (new wording shown in bold):

“A four-year Strategic Plan will be prepared by the Head of Audit Partnership, which will be approved by the Governance Committee. A one-year Operational Plan will be prepared each year from the Strategic Plan. The Head of Audit Partnership will share a final report on each element of the Plan, and any follow up reports on actions identified, with the relevant Heads of Service, Portfolio Holder(s) and Shadow Portfolio Holder(s) as they are completed. The Head of Audit Partnership will report the work performed against the Plan to the Governance Committee on a quarterly basis.”


It was duly seconded by Councillor N S Kenton.


Councillor S H Beer advised that she could not support the Motion and pointed out that the reports of the East Kent Audit Partnership were already included in summarised form on the agendas of the Governance Committee which were accessible to Members, the public and other stakeholders. Additionally, the Head of the Audit Partnership had unfettered access to all Members, including the Chair of Governance, and also to the Chief Executive, Strategic Directors and external auditors. Portfolio Holders were briefed on audits relating to their areas of responsibility.


Councillor J L Pout stated that he also opposed the Motion as it was in his view unnecessary.


Councillor C A Vinson summed up his Motion.


On being put to the meeting, the Motion was LOST.


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.


There were no items of urgent business for consideration.